LATEST figures show that feeling depressed is the main reason behind hundreds of trips to A&E a year at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Mental health charity Mind said it was "deeply concerning" to see so many people needing emergency care for this reason nationally.

NHS Digital data shows in the year to March, "feeling depressed" was a patient's chief complaint in 585 attendances at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Trusts recorded 114,000 A&E attendances, across England in which a patient was initially recorded as feeling depressed in 2020-21.

Heather, a Service Manager at local mental health charity Mind in Bradford, said: "We’ve also seen an increase of need in demand for our services and in the 12 months from April 2020, we supported 3,322 individuals – which was a 30% increase on the previous year. There are lots of services and support in our community if people are struggling.

"At Mind in Bradford our services are open and we are here for anyone struggling with their mental health who lives in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale or Craven.

"It’s important to try to get help as soon as your thoughts start to trouble you and we encourage anyone struggling to get in touch."

It was the 28th most common reason – out of nearly 150 recorded – for heading to an emergency department nationally last year, coming above puncture wounds, back injuries, coughs and sore throats.

Nationally 83,500 attendances were diagnosed with a depressive disorder.

To protect patient confidentiality, numbers are rounded to the nearest five.

Leila Reyburn, policy and campaigns manager at Mind, said: "It is deeply concerning to see so many people feeling so mentally unwell that they need to go to A&E.

"This is supported by data which shows an increasing number of people, including children, being treated by the NHS in a mental health crisis.

"Many people have seen their mental health worsen during the pandemic, which is why it is vital the Government uses the upcoming Spending Review to fund mental health services, so that people can get help early on, before they find themselves in an emergency."

The Government said its NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan sets out the need for the mental health workforce to grow by over 27,000 by 2023-24.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "It is vital that everyone can get the right support when they need it and we are delivering the fastest expansion in mental health services in NHS history, backed by an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023-24.

"This will benefit hundreds of thousands more people."

The spokesperson added the Government had spent an extra £500 million to help those whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic, as well as establishing 24/7 urgent helplines at all NHS mental health providers.

An NHS spokeswoman said: “As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS is expanding mental health services, including talking therapy services for people suffering from anxiety and depression."

She said anyone needing help can self-refer online, contact an urgent 24/7 mental health helpline or access advice through the Every Mind Matters website.

"In addition, anyone who needs to attend A&E with mental health needs should receive expert, compassionate mental health care, with all A&E departments now equipped with specialist mental health liaison teams on-site," the spokeswoman added.