Increase in people seeking mental health help in York

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The number of people seeking help from mental health services in York increased from year to year.

In July of this year, 7,125 people were in contact with mental health services in the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group area, compared to 6,470 in July 2020.

Across the UK, there was a nine percent increase in referrals to mental health services over the same period.

The mental health association Mind is urging the Government to prioritize mental health services as the pandemic impacts access to support and backlogs in care.

Leila Reyburn, Mind’s policy and campaign manager, said: “Even before the pandemic, mental health services were trying to catch up after decades of underfunding,

“Now is the time for decision makers to put their money where their mouths are and prioritize the mental health of the nation.”

A spokesperson for the Vale of York CCG said: “It’s really positive that more people feel they can reach out for help. Mental health services can be accessed in a variety of ways, from self-referrals for counseling or to primary care.”

Sixty percent of those seeking help in the York area were adults, although more than 2,000 were children.

A £500m Mental Health Improvement Action Plan was launched by the Ministry of health and social care in March 2021 to expand services to treat people with all mental health problems, from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Covid-19 has affected everyone in the UK and community and crisis services have continued to provide support throughout the pandemic with digital in-person appointments.”