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Mind is backing a call to review the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Wednesday, 12 August 2020 Mind

Mind is backing a call to review the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) 

Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, said:

“At Mind, we back calls for a comprehensive review into the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), a potentially risky physical treatment that is still used to treat mental health problems in rare cases. We know that some people have found it effective for improving symptoms of mental health problems – particularly depression – when nothing else has worked. However, we still don’t know why it works or how effective it is. Some people who have had ECT may have found they experience adverse side effects that are worse than the symptoms of the problem they’re trying to treat, including short term or longer term memory loss.

“It’s vital that a range of treatment options are offered and any side effects are explained properly. The decision to use ECT should never be taken lightly by the person receiving it, or the doctors presenting it as a treatment option. According to current NICE guidelines (which are used by the NHS), before anyone has ECT they should be fully informed about the procedure, made aware of all possible side effects and give informed consent where possible. After each ECT session, individuals should be assessed to determine whether treatment should continue. It’s important to talk through your treatment options with your GP."

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Note: This quote was changed on 19 August 2020 to remove the word archaic in relation to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), because we do not want to run the risk of using language that might stigmatise those who have been treated with ECT, including those who have benefitted from it. 


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