Young, British & Depressed
Dispatches - Channel 4
My video above addresses the nonsense conveyed in the program.
These are the issues discussed:
- Recent data shows that half of children needing specialist mental health treatment waited more than four and a half months after their initial assessment, with two out of three people not getting the treatment they need.
- The documentary asks what is causing the rise in mental health problems among young people, whether antidepressants are being made available too quickly and whether de-stigmatisation campaigns have had an unintended consequence.
- Last year, there were 700,000 referrals of children and young people under 19 into mental health services – a 45% increase in two years.
Dispatches surveyed 1,000 16 to 30 year olds in the UK, revealing:
- 68% think they have had or are currently experiencing a mental health problem.
- 61% think that mental health de-stigmatisation campaigns have been helpful to talk about mental health problems in general.
- 62% who think that they have or have had a mental health problem say that de-stigmatisation campaigns have helped them identify it.
To consolidate the data, Dispatches surveyed 1,000 GPs across the UK. The survey found:
- 58% believe an unintended consequence of destigmatisation campaigns has resulted in more people wrongly believing they have a mental health problem.
- 63% frequently see patients who have self-diagnosed a mental health problem.
- NHS Consultant Psychiatrist Professor Sami Timimi who works with children and teenagers believes mental ill-health is being diagnosed too quickly in some young people and many are just responding normally to difficult situations.
- Dispatches: Young, British & Depressed reveals that, as the mental health system is overstretched, more young people are turning to antidepressants. Data obtained by Dispatches reveals that in 2018-19, 55,210 under 18s were prescribed antidepressants - seeing the biggest yearly increase since 2015 (2.4%).
- However, for children, there is only one antidepressant for which clinical guidelines say the benefits outweigh the risks. Guidelines advise they should only be prescribed following assessment by a psychiatric specialist and alongside psychological support.
- 86% agree antidepressant prescribing across all age groups (not only under 18s) has increased due to lack of access to other services.
- 39% of GPs do prescribe to under 18s but only 1% of them think it’s the best treatment for depression.