NEW data suggests the Midlands is ranked second in the country for anti-depressant use.

The statistics, obtained by online pharmacy Chemist 4u, show that the Midlands and East of England saw 18,128,940 prescriptions issued last year, costing the NHS £52,189,134.

Across the last three years, 58.7 million anti-depressant prescriptions were issued over the last three years, with only the South of England (47.5 million) and London (17.1 million) ranking lower.

Elsewhere in the country, the region with the highest number of anti-depressant prescriptions was the North of England, with some 67.1 million prescriptions being issued.

Respondents to a study by Chemist 4u said contributing factors that worsen their mental health conditions were stress at work (per cent), stress at home (49 per cent), lack of sleep (48 per cent), arguments with family and friends (36 per cent). 47 per cent of the responders said dark and cold weather in winter was a factor in their mental health.