A concerning report names Barnsley amongst the top 10 communities with the highest rates of antidepressant prescriptions in the UK.

The report highlighted the worrying trend surrounding antidepressant prescriptions in the UK, which increased by 64% between 2010 and 2017.

The data, taken from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), shows an exceptional increase in UK prescription rates compared to other countries.

The report said: “Looking more widely across all the OECD countries with available data over the 2010s, we find that prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK have recorded the sharpest absolute rise in any major economy, which are up by 42 daily doses per 1,000 citizens, compared with 25 in Spain, 14 in Germany and just 5 in Italy.”

The report used a graph of England to highlight the areas with the most prescriptions per 1,000 inhabitants, all of which were clearly clustered in the North. The majority of the communities highlighted were in the North East; Blackpool, Barnsley and St Helens also made the list

Dan Jarvis, Labor MP for Barnsley, said on twitter: “A crisis that urgently needs addressing.

“The top 10 communities with the highest rates of antidepressant prescriptions are all in the North.

“This is no coincidence.

“This is the human cost of 12 years of failure to tackle regional inequality.”

The report continues: “It is immediately obvious that all of these communities are clustered across northern England, and in exactly
those sorts of places that have increasingly come to be described as being ‘left behind’.”