Therapists hitch for new guidelines Ashortage of therapists will
make it difficult for local mental health services to implement new
guidelines on offering psychological help to children with
depression, a campaigner has warned.
The guidelines, issued by the National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence, state that services should offer psychological
therapy ahead of medication.
But Young Minds deputy director Dinah Morley said there were
“almost certainly not enough therapists” to comply with the
These recommend that children with moderate to severe depression
be offered at least three months of cognitive behavioural,
interpersonal or family therapy.
According to the guidelines, antidepressants should be offered
only in combination with therapy and not offered at all to children
with mild depression.
Morley said if the guidelines encouraged more people to demand
therapy it would put pressure on new services to be developed, but
said many young people would continue to be forced into the private
sector for treatment.
“What the guidance heralds is a need for a much greater
awareness among all professionals working with children and also
the need to have highly specialised professionals available,” she