Sunday, December 6, 2009

Goverment to target Depression

The government is preparing to announce a major mental health policy in England with the emphasis on tackling , preventing depression.

The 10-year strategy may well call for better identification of those most at risk and greater access to psychological therapies.

Depression/anxiety is said to affect one in five people at some point in their lives.

The Fly in the ointment is that it is not clear what, if any, funding will be available for the new plans.

The strategy, to be published taday , is expected to say that depression is as big a problem as heart disease


There has been a £170m programme in place for a few years to increase access to a type of treatment called cognitive behaviour therapy, designed to help patients to pinpoint and change the thoughts and actions that cause emotional problems.

It came after the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence said anti-depressants should be reserved for the more severe cases.

It is hoped the plans to be outlined today will broaden the range of psychological therapies available for GPs .

The focus is expected to be on prevention - identifying those most at risk, particularly in schools and colleges along with more help in the workplace, and support in finding a job.

Mental health is the single biggest cost factor of the NHS budget with almost 13% of all funds going on community, hospital, and drug and alcohol addiction services.

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