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Durham University News

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Alternative needed to tackle failing mental health services, says expert

(8 February 2008)

Consultant psychiatrist and professor of mental health at Durham University, Professor Joe Reilly, suggests that an alternative is needed to address problems in mental health services.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has today (8 February 2008) warned against the over-use of antidepressants. In a speech to The Guardian Public Services Summit he said: "Britain has become the true Prozac Nation.” Professor Reilly said: “Antidepressant drugs are lifesaving for some people with severe depression, but so is psychotherapy. “Waits running into years are unacceptable. The NHS must show the same will to tackle this problem as it has done in cutting waiting lists for physical care. “For people with milder depression, our job as doctors is to build on their own coping strategies and promote natural recovery wherever possible. The problem is not antidepressants in themselves, but the lack of an alternative.”

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