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Calls for mental health treatment in deprived areas

7th October 2005

Deprived areas of the UK reportedly have higher rates of mental illness.

A new study by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) analysed official government figures and found that deprivation across the country tends to correlate with the highest incidence of mental illness. The society also discovered that areas with high levels of employment have a comparatively lower rate of mental health problems.

The CSP is calling for widespread improvements to the provision of treatment for people suffering from mental health conditions in the most deprived areas of the country, where there is a particular increase in the incidents of mood or anxiety disorders.

Meeting for its Annual Congress in Birmingham, the society released a list of wards that have both high levels of deprivation and mental illness, including areas of Tyne and Wear, Greater Manchester, Chester, Norfolk, North Devon, Brighton and Hove, Dorset, Cumbria, Cleveland, Kent and Lancashire.

In contrast, more affluent areas of York, Wokingham, Mole Valley and Runnymede in Surrey, Ryedale in North Yorkshire, and Stoneleigh in Warwickshire all have low levels of mental health problems.

CSP chair of council Grahame Pope commented: "Common conditions such as depression and stress can give rise to various mood and anxiety disorders. These illnesses can cause a lack of motivation to get on with life, which can make finding and holding down employment difficult.

"Specialist mental healthcare physiotherapists can help address the symptoms of such illnesses. They can also advise on self-management and exercise, which can lift mood and reduce the need for medication. We are calling on the government to ensure mental health services are adequately resourced, and to offer people hope of a healthier and more prosperous future by taking steps to address the underlying causes of mental illness."