“Too many youngster given anti-depressants”

The Independent Health Mutual has raised concerns about the treatment of young people suffering from depression. The health mutual is particularly concerned about the lack of follow up of young patients that have been prescribed anti-depressants. In a press statement the Independent Health Mutual says that “Just 11% of adolescents that have been prescribed anti-depressants are given follow-up treatment by a psychotherapist”.

Depression occurs relatively frequently among 12 to 18 year olds. The Independent Health Mutual looked into the treatment of young people suffering from depression and came to some remarkable conclusions.

Just 11% of those surveyed were receiving follow-up treatment from a psychotherapist “While the treatment should in the first instance be given by a psychotherapist and only in the case of serious depression should anti-depressants be used”.

The Independent Health Mutual calls for it to be made possible for psychotherapy to be carried out by doctors other than psychiatrists, for example clinical psychologists.

This would help cut waiting lists and ensure that few youngsters would be given anti-depressants.
Another concern is that many youngster that have been prescribed anti-depressants don’t take them for long enough them to be effective.

"One in three youngsters on anti-depressants takes them for a month or less, around 50% for 2 months or less" The Independent Health Mutual says that is isn’t long enough as an average treatment with anti-depressents should last between 6 and 9 months.