Mind comments on new NICE guidelines for care of adults with depression
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have today announced new care guidelines for adults with depression. These guidelines inform how clinicians should support and treat people with health problems.
Reacting to the new guidelines, Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, said:
“We’re pleased to see that NICE have adopted a quality standard for the care of adults with depression, and we hope this will provide a focus for improvement in this area. Unfortunately, we know that the vast majority of GPs don’t feel they really have the skills to help people taper their medicines. As such GPs will need to receive proper support, resource and training to effectively help patients to do this. It’s also important that patients are given enough information when they’re first prescribed medication, so that they understand the length of time for which they may be being prescribed them, or the potential difficulties they might face to stop taking them down the line.
“Improvement in this area is all the more important as more people have been struggling with their mental health and the number of people prescribed antidepressants in England has risen. While the prevalence of poor mental health is likely to have increased, the rise in antidepressant prescriptions may also reflect a wider shift in social attitudes, as stigma surrounding mental health is slowly decreasing, and awareness and understanding has improved.
“It’s positive that more people are asking for help with their mental health, but it’s important to acknowledge that medication helps some people, but it isn’t always right for others. If you’re taking medication for your mental health, you might reach a point where you want to stop taking it. You might feel you don’t need it anymore, you might feel it isn’t working or you might not like the way it affects you or how it makes you feel.
“We strongly suggest talking to your doctor or mental health team if you are thinking of withdrawing from your medication, you want to change medication, or you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, so that you can be supported to come off or change your medication safely over time.”Medication - general Medication - stopping or coming off