THE North-East is sitting on a mental health time bomb, a regional charity has warned.

Mental Health North-East (, a coalition of hundreds of charities and voluntary groups providing mental health support in the region, warns that the consequences of failing to meet mental health needs could be dire.

MHNE chief executive Lyn Boyd said: “Cutbacks in health and social care, benefits and welfare reforms are having a hugely negative impact on the mental health of many vulnerable people.

Then, just when they need help most, mental health services are also under threat.

“Public donations to mental health charities are low in comparison to other causes, so groups and charities are more reliant on dwindling public funds. Charities doing vital work are already dipping into reserves to keep going – but they can’t do this long-term.”

Additionally, there are a number of factors that make the mental health situation in the North-East so serious.

These include higher rates of hospital admission for depression, death rates from suicide, alcohol consumption, gambling repayments and the percentage of adults with a life-limiting, long-term illness.

Mrs Boyd said: “We need local authorities and the government to see how serious the situation is. We need them to recognize that more and more people in the North-East will experience mental health problems. We need them to provide funding to the right organisations to give people the support they need.”