THE breakdown of boxer Frank Bruno and the backlash against the coverage by The Sun newspaper had a positive impact on highlighting the problems of the mentally ill, a Kirklees Council scrutiny panel heard.
Ms Judith Young, chief executive of the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust, said: "It did a real lot of good.
"The backlash against The Sun helped."
The paper came under heavy criticism for its `Bonkers Bruno' headline.
Ms Young added that cases of depression and stress were on the increase nationally, either as a result of more reporting or increased cases.
She said: "The figure for mental health problems now is one in four for all of us at some point in our lives, which is a very significant number of people."
Clr Mike Bower, a former psychiatric nurse and lecturer, told the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Social Affairs and Health there was a need to promote mental well-being.
"It is very easy with many general illnesses to say `change your diet' or `do this' but with mental health it is a different situation."
Mrs Vicky Dutchburn, partnership commissioning manager for mental health, told the meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall that it was an area that had been identified as a priority.
She said: "We are looking at setting up a core group. There is evidence of good practice in very isolated pockets and we need to pull them together."
She revealed that around 70% of patients in the Castle Hill Unit at St Luke's Hospital had help from the statutory authorities by the time they were 11-years-old.
Clr Bower said: "You often seem to watch people come down the social level a step at a time until they are often unemployable. I see that as part of the promotion of mental health education of the public and employers."