HEALTH bosses are urging people in Belper to follow the example of two top sports stars and seek help if they are suffering from depression.
The call, from NHS Derbyshire County, comes after England rugby star Duncan Bell and England cricketer Michael Yardy both revealed their own struggles with the illness this week.
More than 12,400 people are estimated to have a common mental health disorder such as phobia or anxiety in the Amber Valley, the equivalent of 117 people per 1,000.
Bosses at NHS Derbyshire County are encouraging people during Depression Awareness Week, which runs from April 22 to 28, to open up about their illness and contact their GP.
Tracy McGonagle, mental health planning manager for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “Some people still think that depression is just about feeling a little sad or down and not a genuine illness.
“They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. It’s not a sign of weakness.
“The cases of successful sportsmen Duncan Bell and Michael Yardy show that depression can strike anyone at any time. Both have made a courageous decision to open up.”