A new strategy to tackle complex mental health problems in Bromley is set to take steps forward this week.

A new report reveals plans to improve services in the borough following issues with how mental health is currently treated.

It comes as new figures show the borough has the third highest number of patients diagnosed with depression in London – affecting 40 per cent of people living in care homes.

A joint strategy between council bosses and NHS officials sets out ways of offering more support and increasing awareness to “promote better wellbeing”.

MORE - Concern over Lewisham enforcement action on planning breaches

The borough faces increasingly challenging mental health issues, and the joint programme has been developed to “address health inequalities” for mental health patients.

The new strategy is in response to issues with services in Bromley, including “inadequate provision of promotion, health improvement and preventative services” and “a massive imbalance in expenditure favouring complex and impaction residential and nursing care”.

Other issues include a lack of “step down” facilities for patients in rehab accommodation – with some people living in places designed for up to two years for more than five.

The report sets out a need to increase the cash available for common disorders such as depression and anxiety, with just under 20 per cent of the NHS’s budget currently spent on mental health treatment.

Bromley currently spends £46.6m on mental health services across both the council and the NHS.

According to the new report: “This joint mental health strategy reflects a local commitment to work together in these challenging times, in the face of an increasing demand on services, to ensure that people continue to have access to high quality health and social care services.

MORE - Courageous hair stylist stands up to men trying to steal till from salon and chases them off

“The Clinical Commissioning Group and Bromley Council will work together to develop innovative approaches to changing the way they work to manage the increase in demand for services more effectively within a challenging financial environment.”

Set around five pillars including early intervention, officials hope the strategy will improve services – outlining plans to invest more in prevention and recovery rather than long term treatments.

The strategy will be debated at a meeting on March 7.