One in five people will have depression at some point in their lives while more than 120,000 Derbyshire adults are depressed – representing 12 per cent of the county’s population.
Yet as many as three in four cases of depression are neither recognised nor treated, even though more than 80 per cent of people can be helped with the right treatment.
Now, Derbyshire health bosses are marking Depression Awareness Week, running from 26th April to 3rd May, by urging people with depression to seek help.
Dr Steve Lloyd, chairman of NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and buys the county’s mental health services, said: “Depression is different for everyone but, just like any other illness, it can get better with the right help and support.
“There are many different ways of managing depression that can help people to lead a normal, healthy and active life.
“If you think you might be depressed, the advice is to talk about how you are feeling, either to friends, family and/or your GP. There are many things you can do, without needing professional help, such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, not drinking too much alcohol, socialising and taking up a hobby.
“If the problem persists, the best advice is to make an appointment to see your GP, who will be able to advise on the best treatment. This could be a prescription of medication or a referral to one of the primary care psychological therapy services now available to patients over 18 years across Derbyshire.
“These services offer talking therapies that can be delivered individually or in groups, and can help you understand your symptoms and give helpful advice on coping with them.”
Symptoms of depression include continuous low mood or sadness; low self-esteem; feelings of anxiety, worry, irritability or intolerance; suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself. Other symptoms include disturbed sleep or changes in appetite, weight or menstrual cycle.
Depression can develop gradually or be triggered by a traumatic event such as redundancy, divorce, separation or bereavement.
In Derbyshire, people feeling depressed or anxious can refer themselves to one of five Talking Therapy services which can help manage symptoms of depression or low mood, and anxiety difficulties such as stress and panic.
Details are as follows:
Insight Healthcare – tel. 0300 555 5582; web www.insighthealthcare.org
Let’s Talk Wellbeing – tel. 0115 956 0888; web www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services/local-services/lets-talk-wellbeing
Steps2change – tel. 0303 123 4000; web www.steps2change.nhs.uk
Talking Mental Health – tel. 0300 123 0542; www.derbyshcft.nhs.uk/tmhd
Trent PTS – tel. 01332 265659; web www.trentpts.co.uk.
People experiencing a crisis when their GP surgery is closed should call 111 to be directed to the most appropriate specialist support.
For general information on mental illness, visit www.time-to-change.org.uk or www.mentalhealthrecovery.com.