MORE patients went to hospital to seek emergency treatment for depression during the pandemic.

NHS figures reveal 1,465 patients went to A&E at the Mid and South Essex NHS Trust because they were suffering from depression in the year to March – an average of four people a day

The figure at the East Suffolk and North Essex Trust, which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals, was 1,500.

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

Different figures show "depressive disorder" was listed as the first suspected or confirmed diagnosis in 2,300 A&E attendances at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust in 2020-21.

Mind spokesman Leila Reyburn 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 more than 27,000 by 2023-24.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman 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."