The Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP, who is chairman of the all party parliamentary group on mental health, visited a drop-in session organised by Creative Support.
The event at Halesowen Library was organised as part of Time to Talk Day, which aims to help break down the stigma attached to mental illness.
People spoke about the challenges they had faced, first in identifying and finding support for depression, anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses.
Creative Support has provided services for people with mental health needs for 20 years including those who have suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
The MP said: "Most people have either experienced mental health problems or know somebody who has, but too often people are afraid to talk about either their own mental health or about other people’s illnesses in a way that isn’t the case with physical, more ‘visible’ illnesses.
“Time to Talk Day is about trying to break that stigma so that people are more comfortable talking openly about mental health and can get the help, support and treatment they need."
The MP has launched an inquiry into comparisons between mental health and physical health care within the NHS and wants local people to submit evidence to the inquiry.
He said: “The Government’s new Health and Social Care Act commits the NHS to giving mental health parity of esteem with physical health but it is vital that we make sure that that commitment goes beyond words on a piece of paper and actually makes a real difference.
“I hope that anybody in Halesowen and Rowley Regis who has experience of mental health care will come forward and tell the inquiry how they think things could be improved."
For more information about the inquiry phone 0121 550 6777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.