Warning issued over ‘ticking timebomb’ of mental illness

n From Page 1.

closer to £450m. Calculations by SIGOMA, the body representing towns and cities across the North, suggest Yorkshire councils could each have to find an extra £5m in savings on top of what they expected from the spending review.

At the same time, the charity Mind has seen 50 per cent more calls to its “Infoline” in 2012/13 than the previous year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Charities Mind and the Mental Health Foundation have now published Building Resilient Communities, a report calling on 
every council to prioritise mental health within their public health strategy.

A spokesman for Mind said: “Just as public health teams help people to stop smoking or prevent physical illnesses, they can help people to reduce things like stress and anxiety and build resilience to cope with life’s challenges.

“However, with the public health grant only ringfenced until 2015, there is an urgent need for local councils to do their bit and deliver on the Government’s commitment to parity of esteem by making mental health a key part of local public health plans.”

Simon Lawton-Smith, head of policy at the Mental Health Foundation, warned that public mental health is neglected “at our peril.”

He added: “Local authorities must seize this opportunity to develop clear public mental health strategies.”

The economic crash, meanwhile, has been blamed for making mental health problems even more prevalent. Dr Karen O’Connor, based at Heeley Green surgery in Sheffield, said: “Stress, anxiety and depression are all common during times of financial difficulty.

“But while the economic climate may increase people’s need for support, we know that communication or mobility issues, as well as stigma and discrimination, can sometimes make it tricky for people to ask for help.”

She urge patients affected to speak to their GP.