Around one in ten people in Crawley suffer from depression, leading health experts have been told.
The Crawley CCG Governing Body discussed its plan for providing better services for people with mental health problems during its meeting at The Hawth.
Dr Amit Bhargava, Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Crawley CCG, gave a presentation showing the prevalence of mental health disorders.
The figures showed that 10,754 people in Crawley - in a population of just over 100,000 - have been recorded as being depressed. Compared to 20,049 people in Horsham and Mid Sussex - a population of around 270,000.
Tom Insley, Senior Manager, Mental Health Commissioning, said the higher rate of depression in Crawley compared to other towns was likely to be linked with the higher level of deprivation and could also be influenced by the rising working-age population in the town.
Tony Oliver, 60, of Pearson Road, Pound Hill, who suffers with severe depression, spoke during the meeting’s public questions time.
He said peer support and drop-in sessions for people with mental health problems were removed from Maidenbower Day Centre when West Sussex County Council had to make cuts around two years ago.
He said he was offered alternative support with Age UK but he did not accept it because he did not think it would help him.
He said now there was space and trained peer support workers going unused.
He said: “You get isolated if you haven’t got some where to go if you get down and the next option is hospital and that’s it. You’ve taken steps backwards.
“There aren’t any drop ins for if you’re feeling a bit down, to unload.”
The CCG Governing Body signed off a five year Adult Functional Mental Health Framework.
Going forward, a mental health transformation board, chaired by Dr Bhargava, will use the framework to create a plan to implement services in Crawley.
Mr Insley said: “Using the local Crawley data, we will be able to accurately address local level need. We might need to redesign the third sector support that we commission to hit the hot spots.”