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One in seven in Kent living with depression or anxiety

By KentOnline reporter

One in seven people in Kent are living with depression or anxiety, according to a survey of patients registered with GPs.

Figures from Public Health England show that 13.6% of registered patients in the area were suffering with at least one of the mental health conditions at the start of last year.

The most recent survey showed the rate in Kent had increased by 19% since 2015.

One in seven people in Kent are living with depression or anxiety. Picture: thinkstockphotos
One in seven people in Kent are living with depression or anxiety. Picture: thinkstockphotos

The rate in the county is marginally lower than the national average, with 13.7% of GPs' patients across England saying they lived with depression or anxiety at the start of 2017.

The South East as a whole had a lower than average percentage.

Across the region, 12.5% of respondents in the survey reported one or both of the conditions, an increase of 14.6% on 2015.

Stephen Buckley, from mental health charity Mind, said: "As attitudes towards mental health improve and with it the understanding that help is available, we're going to see more and more people seek support.

"No matter where you live, it is important that everyone has access to quality mental health services, when they need them."

Depression or anxiety was more common among women, with 14.7% saying they had at least one of the two conditions. For men, the rate was 12.7%.

Nationally, figures varied significantly between areas.

"Symptoms of mental health problems vary from person to person, but if you're experiencing depression you might feeling low, numb, worthless or without hope..." - Stephen Buckley, Mind

The highest rates of depression and anxiety were in Liverpool, where nearly one in five respondents noted the conditions - more than double the rate in West Berkshire.

The results of the survey, conducted between January and March last year, also showed significant differences according to the background of the respondent, with those from more deprived areas more likely to report anxiety or depression.

Mr Buckley said that the reasons for regional variations were unclear.

He added: "We do know that there are links between, for example, deprivation and mental wellbeing, so it may be that prevalence is genuinely higher in certain areas.

"On the other hand, more positively, it may be that in some places there is greater awareness that you can get some support from your GP for your mental health.

"Symptoms of mental health problems vary from person to person, but if you're experiencing depression you might feeling low, numb, worthless or without hope.

"Everyone experiences good days and bad days but if the feelings don't go away after a couple of weeks or keep returning, it could be a sign that you're experiencing a common mental health problem like depression or an anxiety disorder."

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