The number of people who are suffering from depression has risen by almost half a million in just three years, new figures show.
Between 2008 and 2011, there was an increase of 494,087 cases of depression in England - bringing the total to 4.7 million, research conducted by data experts Ssentif revealed.
All areas of the country have seen a marked increase in the number of cases recorded by doctors.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, there has been a surge in the number of patients who suffer from the illness - an increase of 65,000 in three years. In the North East, 18,000 new cases were observed.
Ssentif analysed regional data concerning the number of cases in each Primary Care Trust (PCT).
Judy Aldred, managing director of Ssentif, said: “Spending by PCTs on mental health services has only increased by an average of 10% in the last three years while nationally the prevalence of mental illness has increased by 14% - and we have to remember that the real numbers are likely to be much higher as many people do not seek GP support for their conditions.
“These are significant increases and analysing this information in terms of service provision, as well as prevalence, only serves to underline the importance of the reliance that the country has on voluntary sector organisations to help people with mental health conditions.”