Bournemouth University’s Dr Andrew Mayers featured on the Independent’s website yesterday speaking about mental illness in England.
The psychologist, who specialises in mental health, offered his expertise on the rise of antidepressant usage and what the NHS can do to improve treatment of mental health problems.
Mental health concerns account for 23 per cent of the England’s ‘burden of disease’ but only receive 13 per cent of NHS funding; the concern is that it is not being treated as seriously as other, physical illnesses.
While budgets continue to be cut, Dr Mayers believes that the problem is about more than just finances, stating that “Some GP’s have a better understanding of mental health than others. We should invest in on-going training to up skill [GPs] and ensure that they are aware of all the latest information and treatments available”.
Dr Mayers pointed out that “people living on antidepressants in the long-term without proper review is not good practice, but in some cases, medication is vital just to get people back to a level where they can function again and engage with other treatments”.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that around one in 10 people experience depression in any given year, and that the issue is less stigmatised is a good thing as more people are able to get the help that they need. Yet, England’s leading mental health charities suggest that two-thirds of depressed people may not be getting help at all.
The article appeared on the Independent’s website on 6th January 2015 and is available online.