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Mind responds to NICE draft guidelines for treatment of depression

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 Mind

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed the first new draft guidelines for 12 years to identify, treat and manage depression in adults. The guidelines are for health professionals treating people with mild-moderate depression. The guidelines are not final and are open for consultation. 

Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind says:

“We are pleased to see NICE draft guidelines on depression emphasise patient choice so people can access the support they need - in the way that works for them - whether that’s therapy, medication, or a combination of both. We know many people are still not offered a choice in their treatment and the way they receive it – whether online or face-to-face, or by phone. So, implementation of this will be critical, especially as we don’t yet know how much of the NHS funding from the Spending Review will go towards mental health services, as our hardworking mental health staff struggle to meet increased demand. Right now, 1.6 million people are waiting for mental health support or treatment, and a further eight million people can’t even get on the waiting list because they aren’t deemed unwell enough to access care.

“A focus on withdrawal from antidepressants and a recognition that coming off medication may take weeks or months to complete successfully is welcome. We know for some; the process may take even longer. It’s crucial anyone who chooses to stop psychiatric medication can do so safely, gradually, and ideally in collaboration with their GP, pharmacist, psychiatrist, or another health professional they trust. We need to see additional resource in mental health services to make sure people get the help they need. 

“To 'level up' the country and reduce inequality post-pandemic, mental health must be at the heart of recovery plans with a concerted cross-government response – this must include addressing the underlying issues which can impact someone’s mental health such as financial worries, education, housing concerns, employment, loneliness and isolation.” 

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