Date Published: 29 September 2005

Mental Health Foundation (UK) says that latest government guidelines are helpful but insufficient

Mental Health issues - UK

The Mental Health Foundation supports the new National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the treatment and care of children and adolescents with depression, but is doubtful that the guidelines will make a difference without more trained therapists.

On the day the guidelines were released, Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:

" While we are pleased that the guidelines will recommend psychological therapies as an alternative to anti-depressants as a first-line treatment, in reality the waiting lists for such therapies can be very long and huge investment is needed to provide effective psychotherapy and counselling services to children and adolescents. Until further progress is made, the situation is unlikely to change and we will continue to fail our children and young people who experience depression in the UK.

_ Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years. There is a clear need to improve child and adolescent mental health services. The Government should be looking to place greater emphasis on emotional well-being in families and schools as well as individuals."

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF), which is based in the UK, seeks to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health. According to the MHF:

"... the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. For example, by providing the right information, guidance and support in childhood and adolescence, the chances of developing mental health problems can be reduced for millions of people over a lifetime - with enormous benefits to the people directly affected, along with their families, friends and the communities they live in." - quotation added when page reviewed after Sept.'05

Source(s): Mental Health Foundation, UK

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