Latest figures highlight district’s mental health issues

THE equivalent of two people in the district have been admitted to hospital each week in the past 10 years after self-harming, the latest figures have revealed.

And the number of people from the district being admitted to hospital with mood or anxiety disorders has more than doubled in the past five years.

The information has led to calls for more awareness of mental health issues and a renewed vow to provide help for those affected.

Philip Ogle, from the local PIPS group, said the high numbers reinforce the need for the issue to be tackled.

“It is alarming to see that some statistics in the area have risen considerably and this highlights further the need for more awareness of this issue.

“While there are some invaluable resources within the area there still remains a lot of work to be done in understanding and awareness in the field of self-harm and suicide.The main objective of PIPS is to merely signpost people in need of help and to facilitate training on the awareness of those in need.”

Sixty-three people have died by suicide in the district district since 2009.

Meanwhile figures in relation to self-harm show that almost 900 people were admitted to hospital between 2000 and 2009 after causing harm to themselves.

The proportion of females in this bracket is higher, something Protect Life Manager Najla Basketfield said does not surprise her.

“Sixty-eight per cent of clients have been females. Although the majority of clients I see are at more early stages of anxiety and depression with only 3 per cent having been actively suicidal when presenting to me,” said Ms Basketfield. “The main issues have been debt and relationship problems.”

While depression can be caused by a number of factors it is thought rising unemployment in recent years may have contributed to a number of issues which can lead to depression.

Anyone experiencing mental health issues can contact a number of organisations. Protect Life and MindWise can be accessed via a GP referral. The Samartians are available on 08457909090 and Lifeline, a 24/7 service can be contacted on 08008088000.