Kent

Kent and Medway depression figures rise by 22,000

The number of people with depression in Kent and Medway has risen by over 22,000 in the last two years.

The figures obtained by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, show an increase of 77% in Medway between 2007-8 and 2009-10.

There are now 121,000 people with depression in Kent and Medway - which is almost one in 10 of the population.

Alison Kerry, from the mental health charity Mind, said: "What we need is more investment in support services that will help vulnerable people."

Dr Caroline Jessell, from Kent and Medway NHS, said more people are choosing to talk about the condition.

"There is less stigma attached to it. The numbers are higher for women, but there is evidence that men find it more difficult to come forward."

She said that men often find it easier to talk to someone anonymously, and phone helplines are very helpful in diagnosing such cases.

According to Mind, one in 10 adults in Britain have depression at any one time, making the figures in Kent and Medway slightly lower than the national average.

Ms Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said increased public awareness of depression is encouraging more sufferers to come forward.

"It's about improved diagnosis and better and more accurate reporting," she said.

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