Global Crisis of Depression comment: Prof Shirley Reynolds says more investment in evidence-based treatment and wider training programmes is needed
Release Date 25 November 2014
Professor Shirley Reynolds, Director of the University of Reading's Charlie Waller Institute for Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment, says there are not enough trained staff to meet the needs of children and teenagers with depression.
"Depression is now, belatedly, recognised as one of the leading causes of disability and suffering across the world. It is a key problem for teenagers and often begins at this point in life.
"Child and adolescent mental health services have recently begun a major programme to train staff to deliver evidence based psychological therapy to children. However, there are not enough trained staff to meet the needs of children and teenagers with these devastating and common difficulties. It's not clear why services for children and adolescents have been slow to offer evidence based psychological therapies. Additional investment to expand staff numbers and develop their skills is also urgently needed.
"In the longer term we must focus on how to prevent depression in children, teenagers and adults. We need to help schools to identify vulnerable children and families, and to train teachers and other professionals that children meet, such as school nurses, GPs and sports coaches. We must notice when children are experiencing mental health problems, offer stronger support help them access the right treatment.
"This year a new, accessible and free resource has been launched to help all adults help children. The MindEd e-learning programme is available any time, free of charge and offers over 250 sessions of extensive and expert information for all adults who work with children.