According to an Atlas of Mental Health created by CentreForum think tank people living in the South of England re more likely to say they are unhappy despite having lower levels of mental illness including depression.
People living in London Bedford, Milton Keynes, Brighton, and parts of Kent claim to be the unhappiest in the country – yet they have some of the lowest levels of diagnosed mental health problems.
Five of Britain’s unhappiest 20 places were in London including the borough of Barking and Dagenham which came in the top five on two measures of unhappiness and yet had the 23rd lowest level of mental health problems.
In the league table of areas with the highest long-term mental health problems only Brighton & Hove (which came 3rd in the table) and Nottingham (7th) were outside the North and North West. The other worst areas in descending order were: Middlesborough, Blackpool, Manchester, Stockton on Tees, Knowsley, Nottingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Salford
Northern areas tend to receive less support for mental health issues and in some areas people are 4 times more likely to die from a mental health problem.
Poor mental health often leads to a poor diet, heavy drinking and smoking, all of which can lead to cancer or heart disease.
One in six adults suffers from mental illness such as depression or anxiety at some time in their lives.