REFERRALS for anxiety and depression have risen by more than 50 per cent in three years.
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has revealed it received more than 9,000 referrals in 2013/14, up from 6,700 three years ago.
Over half of those were for depression or mixed depression and anxiety.
But Kate Glenholmes, clinical manager of the primary care mental health services, said there were still a number of myths surrounding the condition.
“Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong. We all go through spells of feeling down but depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
“Depression is a real illness with real symptoms and it’s not a sign of weakness or something you can ‘snap out of’ by ‘pulling yourself together’.
“It’s a serious and very complex condition which, at its worst, can lead to suicide. The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery.”
The news comes as a series of self-help guides have been published online to help those with lower-level wellbeing issues manage their own condition.
Information is now available on the Trust’s website for people living with a range of issues as part of a month-long focus on mental health.
They include subjects such as coping with bereavement, anxiety, depression, low mood or alcohol or drug dependency.
There is also information about related topics such as domestic violence, self-harm, sleeping problems and post-traumatic stress.
Each one includes video introductions explaining more about the issue, an online leaflet giving advice and audio support.
The guides are designed to add to more intensive support on top of the care and treatment provided by professionals or for those who need additional support to help them with everyday life.
Visit www.hacw.nhs.uk to access the guides or for more information.