Ageing Well - Health

Mental Health


The term Mental Health covers a broad range of conditions, illnesses as well as encompassing positive mental health and wellbeing.  The WHO definition of mental health is

“…state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.

Mental health problems affect around one in four people ranging from depression and anxiety to more rare conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  Maintaining good mental health is important and impacts on physical health as well as many other aspects of people’s lives. 

Whilst mental health problems are relatively common, they are often hidden as stigma is still a concern which means many people are not accessing the services they need.

In order to improve the metal health of the population we need to focus on the wider determinants of good mental health. 


Main Issues

The estimated prevalence of common mental health disorders, this will include depression and anxiety disorders, for those aged 16 years and above in Hartlepool is 19.3%.


This is the third highest level in the north east, and above both the regional and England averages. For those aged 65 years and above the prevalence estimate is 12.0%, which is the 2nd highest in the north east region.


This is again above both the regional and England averages.

Looking specifically at depression, the recorded prevalence in Hartlepool has remained better than the national average across its five year recording period.


However the gap between Hartlepool and the England average has fallen year on year from 1.2% in 2014/15 to 0.2% in 2017/18. At the same time the rate of new depression registrations in Hartlepool has moved from a position of superiority to the England average to one of inferiority.


New registrations in 2013/14 were at 0.7% of GP practice registers, which was 0.4% below both the England and north east regional averages. By 2017/18 this had increased to 1.7%, which is the same as the north east regional average and 0.1% above the England average.

The annual GP Patient Survey (GPPS) has consistently shown that response in Hartlepool demonstrate a higher than average level of depression and anxiety in patients.


Across the four year reporting period Hartlepool has maintained a gap of at least 3% above the England average, peaking in 2014/15 where Hartlepool was 4.7% above the England average.

The GPPS has also shown a spike in those reporting long term mental health problems in 2017/18.


Hartlepool’s level of reported long term mental health problems increased by 119% from the 2016/17 level of 5.7% to the 2017/18 level of 12.5%. This was preceded by a four year period where the largest increase was 0.7%. Hartlepool’s increase in 2017/18 sees it have the 5th highest level in England.

For those people in contact with secondary mental health services, Hartlepool has the 4th highest level of stable accommodation in England. Hartlepool had a stable accommodation rate of 86.0% for those in contact with secondary mental health services in 2017/18. This is the 4th consecutive year where Hartlepool’s rate has been at least 72%. This however was preceded by two years where rates fell as low as 32.4%.


From the low point in 2013/14 to the 2017/18 level, there has been an increase of 165%.

Hartlepool also has the smallest gap in both the north east and England for employment rates between those in contact with secondary mental health services and the overall employment rate.



Mental health stepped care referral pathway


Support Services for stepped care model (examples)

5. Approved Mental Health Professionals (HCPC registration, significant experience working with people with mental ill health. 

    Completion of AMHP module. Ongoing CPD to retain AMHP status.  Severe and enduring Mental Health

    Best Interest Assessors (HCPC registration, significant experience working with people with complex conditions.

    Completion of the BIA training and ongoing legal updates to retain BIA status. Complex and severe conditions

4. Registered Social Workers (HCPC registration experience of working with people with complex presentations)

    Multi agency work with complex people an co morbid mental health and or substance misuse.

3  Registered Social Workers (HCPC) including Social Care Officers - supporting people with  moderate mental ill health. Preventing escalating     


2. Social Care Officers  supporting people with mild to moderate mental ill health. Facilitation to support to appointments relating to Mental Wellbeing.

1. Community Hubs Officer assist and signpost hub visitors to relevant services including  welfare and access to a range of health-improving initiatives.


Future intentions

Hartlepool mental health joint plan 20192021