Date Published: 20 June 2006

Response to: The Depression Report – A New Deal for Depression and Anxiety

Mental Health issues - UK

"Implement the guidance of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), but there will still be much to do to tackle growing tide of depression", the mental health charity the Mental Health Foundation has responded to a recent report about mental health care in the UK.

Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation has welcomed a report from the London School of Economics which calls for clinical guidance on treatments for depression, anxiety and schizophrenia to be implemented in full:

" There is overwhelming evidence to show that CBT [Cognitive Behaviour Therapy*] is effective for many and therefore it should, without question, be made widely available on the NHS. Individuals should not have to wait 12 months for a straightforward and cost-effective treatment for what can be a debilitating illness."

McCulloch also warned that depression is a complex illness with many roots including social deprivation and we must be realistic about how to deal with it:

" CBT is not a magic bullet. We need a range of treatments to be made available for people living with depression, especially those whose symptoms are severe. We also need to tackle the root causes of common mental illnesses. Overestimating the capabilities of CBT will only lead to disappointment later down the line, for both patients and service providers."

McCulloch asserted that media reports over the weekend have confused unhappiness with mental illness, which is dangerous for patients with mental health problems:

" We don't need treatments on the NHS to make people happy, we just need treatments that will help people feel okay again and able to work, able to interact with friends and families and get out of bed in the morning. If a physical illness prevents a person from doing these things, priority is given and treatments provided. No one should suffer these effects and go untreated in a civilised society. It is important to understand that depression is a real and serious illness."

Source(s): Mental Health Foundation, UK

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