Friday, August 28, 2009

Long, hot - slightly depressed - summer...

So how was your long hot summer? Long and hot, I hope, and full of rest and recuperation - as mine has been.

Back now, I'm downhearted to see that there seems to be very little good news. The economic crisis is still hitting. Politicians are still squabbling. Celebs are still breaking up.

In particular, it hasn't been a particularly good summer for feeling down. According to the newscasts, anxiety and depression rates are soaring. But GPs, apparently, only spot clinical depression in half the patients who have it. And even when the condition is spotted, funding for some forms of treatment - such as exercise - is limited . and there are as yet not enough therapists to go round. No surprises there - but no optimism, either.

But wait! There is a news piece this morning that offers a little light in the darkness. Apparently a study in the Lancet suggests that online therapy increases the chances of recovery from depression twofold when compared to medication only. And as online therapy is likely to be more accessible (handier for client and counsellor, theoretically cheaper when it comes to funding), we can hopefully expect it to be rolled out across the NHS.

I hope it is. For let's not forget - as the long hot summer comes to an end and the darker winter days take hold - that during our lifetime one in four of us will suffer some form of mental illness. This means you - or several of your friends, family and loved ones. So the more that can be done to support the cause (as well as reduce the stigma) the better.

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