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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

Latest news

Mental Health Foundation launches exercise referral campaign

A campaign has got underway to encourage GPs to prescribe exercise for depression instead of drugs.

The Mental health Foundation has launched the campaign amid growing concerns about the side effects and over-prescribing of anti-depressants. It says there is mounting evidence to show that a supervised exercise programme on prescription can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild or moderate depression.

The problem however, is that GPs are reluctant to prescribe exercise.

In its report Up and Running, which marks the start of the campaign, the Mental Health Foundation found that many GPs do not believe exercise is an effective treatment, despite advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

The campaign aims to plug this knowledge gap and is calling for the government to invest £20m in developing and promoting exercise referral as a treatment for mild or moderate depression across the UK.

This represents around 5 per cent of the annual spend on anti-depressants in the UK.

Clinical guidelines now say that anti-depressants should not be used as a initial treatment for mild depression, but the most common alternatives – psychotherapy and counselling – are often in short supply.

Exercise referral schemes are an effective treatment option, but will not be able to match the marketing or staffing power of pharmaceutical companies when it comes to communicating and investing in relationships with GPs, claims the report.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “There are some obstacles standing in the way of exercise on prescription for all, but they’re not insurmountable.

“Society needs to be educated about the benefits of exercise in treating mild or moderate depression, and GPs need to be made aware that exercise referral is available.”

A campaign has got underway to encourage GPs to prescribe exercise for depression instead of drugs.
HAF,SAR,PUB
080405-mental-health.jpg
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Latest news

Mental Health Foundation launches exercise referral campaign

A campaign has got underway to encourage GPs to prescribe exercise for depression instead of drugs.

The Mental health Foundation has launched the campaign amid growing concerns about the side effects and over-prescribing of anti-depressants. It says there is mounting evidence to show that a supervised exercise programme on prescription can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild or moderate depression.

The problem however, is that GPs are reluctant to prescribe exercise.

In its report Up and Running, which marks the start of the campaign, the Mental Health Foundation found that many GPs do not believe exercise is an effective treatment, despite advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

The campaign aims to plug this knowledge gap and is calling for the government to invest £20m in developing and promoting exercise referral as a treatment for mild or moderate depression across the UK.

This represents around 5 per cent of the annual spend on anti-depressants in the UK.

Clinical guidelines now say that anti-depressants should not be used as a initial treatment for mild depression, but the most common alternatives – psychotherapy and counselling – are often in short supply.

Exercise referral schemes are an effective treatment option, but will not be able to match the marketing or staffing power of pharmaceutical companies when it comes to communicating and investing in relationships with GPs, claims the report.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “There are some obstacles standing in the way of exercise on prescription for all, but they’re not insurmountable.

“Society needs to be educated about the benefits of exercise in treating mild or moderate depression, and GPs need to be made aware that exercise referral is available.”

A campaign has got underway to encourage GPs to prescribe exercise for depression instead of drugs.
HAF,SAR,PUB
080405-mental-health.jpg

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