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Mental health in the East Midlands

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Researchers: Sally McManus
Published: July 2011


Service planners increasingly have a need for evidence at a local and regional level.

This analysis was commissioned by East Midlands NHS to understand the mental health and service use of people living in East Midlands, and to compare this profile with that of the rest of England.

We analysed data from the national Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS): the only national data source on rates of treated and untreated mental disorder in England.


Depression and suicidal thoughts were more common in people living in the East Midlands than among people living elsewhere. Rates were particularly high among young women living in the region, with men also more likely than those living in the rest of England to have made a suicide attempt. These patterns remained, even after regional differences in socio-demographic circumstances were accounted for.

Adults living in the East Midlands were more likely to have a physical health condition. This was particularly pronounced for diabetes. Our survey data shows that a likely driver for this is that obesity is more common in the East Midlands than in the rest of England. A quarter of people living in the region have a BMI of 30 or more - the highest rate for any region in England.


The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 is the key national data source for community rates of mental disorders, and their risk factors. Of the 7403 people interviewed in the 2007 Survey, 681 were from the East Midlands. This sample formed the basis of the secondary analysis reported here.

APMS uses a two-phase approach:

  • At phase one our interviewers carried out structured assessments and screening for a range of mental disorders, as well as asking questions on other topics such as general health, service use, risk factors and demographics.
  • Second phase interviews were then conducted by trained researchers from the University of Leicester who were able to assess more complex disorders such as psychosis and personality disorder. 

Read the report