How many times have you seen an article in the paper about the “obesity epidemic” in the UK? How many times have you turned on the TV and found another programme on how to lose weight? The media is obsessed with how weight affects our health and with reasonable motives. Obesity is rising not only in the UK but worldwide and the affect it’s having on our health is shocking.
However, what if I told you that depression is now diagnosed 10x more often than obesity? For the first time ever, records kept by GPs have shown exactly that. It’s the fastest growing health condition to date, but where is the media surge behind it? With 9.9% of patients being diagnosed with depression in the last year, what happens to these people and why are the numbers increasing?
Current treatment methods for depression include a combination of talking therapies and drugs, with 1 in 6 adults being prescribed an anti-depressant in 2017. However, despite studies strongly suggesting that the best line of treatment is use of anti-depressants WITH talking therapies, the demand is not yet being met. GPs are struggling to refer patients to talking therapy sessions as there simply isn’t the funding to do so. This has led to a pattern of reliance on drug based treatment as GPs have no alternative.
Clearly something isn’t working in the current system, resulting in millions of people going without the treatment they need. Something needs to be done about this. The NHS has promised that by 2021, 1.5 million people will have access to proper mental health support including talking therapies. We believe that the way to bring about this result is to embrace new technology like “Dr Julian” and utilise the ingenuity it provides.
If we gave mental health the same attention that we give the “obesity epidemic” then we would uncover a multitude of resources that could help millions of people. In short, let’s get talking about mental health. Let’s end the silence.