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A new summary report, What science has shown can help young people with anxiety and depression - Identifying and reviewing the 'active ingredients' of effective interventions, from Wellcome has been published. It includes new research from Oxford University, which investigates the knowns and unknowns of SSRI treatment (antidepressant drugs) in young people with depression and anxiety.

A self-portrait of Hayleigh in her mum’s bedroom. May 2020. © Hayleigh Longman / COVID-19 Anxiety Project © Wellcome Trust

This summary report looks at approaches like relaxation techniques, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), sleep and helpful thinking patterns as part of the different mental health treatments and approaches currently available.

Professor Catherine Harmer, study author, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said:

 

'Clinical trials show that SSRIs (antidepressants) can help treat anxiety and depression in young people, but they aren’t a solution for everyone. We need to start again when it comes to developing new treatments for young people and we need more research on how treatments work in this age group and how we can make them work better.' 

This publication is released alongside Insights from the Wellcome Global Monitor, a new global survey looking into people's experiences and views on mental health and science. The Global Monitor report highlights that over nine in ten people worldwide (92%) feel mental health is as or more important than physical health for overall wellbeing, with almost half (46%) saying it is more important.

Despite the high value people put on mental health, the survey found that science’s role in understanding and alleviating mental health issues seems unclear to many. Less than a third said science can explain a lot about how feelings and emotions work (27%) or can do a lot to help treat anxiety or depression (31%). In contrast, about half said science can do a lot to help treat infectious diseases (53%) or cancer (49%).  

Professor Miranda Wolpert, Director of Mental Health at Wellcome, said: 

 

'It’s clear that people around the world really value mental health but they don’t see science’s role in improving it. This is perhaps not that surprising, when we still know so little about what works for whom, and why. Science has enormous potential to improve mental health and researchers across the world are working to deepen our understanding and develop new treatment approaches. It might not be easy, but it’s within our grasp. Now is the time to go further and faster to find solutions to the problems faced by all of us.'

Read the full news story and the Wellcome Global Monitor Mental Health report

 

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

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