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Monday, 16 November 2009

BACP issues warning that new depression guidelines may harm patients

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has today issued a warning that the new depression guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) could mean a narrowing of the options available to those being treated for depression, Britain's number one mental health concern.

Dr Lynne Gabriel Chair of BACP said: "BACP welcomes NICE's recommendations to support counselling and psychotherapy in general to treat depression. But we are worried that the narrow focus of the new guidelines could be used to promote one form of talking treatment - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - at the expense of the full range of psychological therapies. The evidence is clear that CBT can only be of benefit to some 50 per cent of depressed patients rising to just over 70 per cent when symptoms specially lend themselves to a CBT approach".

All patients with long-term illnesses will be assessed for mental health problems under new guidelines issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Depression can be up to three times more common in those suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease but because of the focus on primary physical symptoms the mental distress can often go undiagnosed. The new guidelines will tell GPs to do routine screens for depression in all cases of serious illness.

NICE also released updated guidelines on treatment of general depression, suggesting that psycho-social or talking therapies should be the first treatment option for people with mild or moderate depression rather than medication

For further details please go to:

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