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Depression is the main reason for hundreds of Wigan A&E visits

In the first 3 months of 2021 over 240 people presented themselves to A&E Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust with what they classed as depression.

In Wigan 375 people were diagnosed with depression after their chief complaint being a ‘feeling of depression’ in 2020.

Across England 114,000 people who visited A&E recorded themselves as ‘feeling depressed’ in 2020-21. Around 83,500 of those then went on to be given an official diagnosis of ‘depressive disorder’. 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year according to Mental health charity, Mind.

A representative from Mind says ‘It is deeply concerning to see so many people feeling so mentally unwell that they need to go to A&E.

A new campaign by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has been launched after research found nearly half of all adults in the UK felt that the pandemic affected them mentally and a further third of them did not know how to help their mental state.

Since the pandemic, people experiencing issues with mental health has increased drastically causing a strain on the health care system. Additional funding has been granted by the government injecting £2.3 bn a year by 2023-24 into mental health. This is in addition to the £500 million spent in an attempt to tackle the rising mental health crisis during the height of the global pandemic.

Experts anticipate the sector needs at least £500bn of funding to ensure they can keep up with the growing demand for mental health services due to the increases experienced throughout COVID.

As well as additional funding, the government’s NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan expresses the need for around 27,000 more mental health workers by the year 2023.

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NHE May/June 2024

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