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Tag Archives: Alarm Over Depression Therapy Cuts

Research Articles from the BMC Psychiatry Journal

Here are some Research Articles from the BMC Psychiatry Journal:

Personality dimensions of schizophrenia patients compared to control subjects by gender and the relationship with illness severity

Miralles C, Alonso Y, Verge B, Setó S, Gaviria AM, Moreno L, Cortés MJ, Gutiérrez-Zotes A, Vilella E, Martorell L

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :151 (24 May 2014)

Abstract | Provisional PDF

Suicide and suicide attempts in people with severe mental disorders in Butajira, Ethiopia: 10 year follow-up of a population-based cohort

Shibre T, Hanlon C, Medhin G, Alem A, Kebede D, Teferra S, Kullgren G, Jacobsson L, Fekadu A

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :150 (23 May 2014)

Abstract | Provisional PDF

Why alternative teenagers self-harm: exploring the link between non-suicidal self-injury, attempted suicide and adolescent identity

Young R, Sproeber N, Groschwitz RC, Preiss M, Plener PL

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :137 (22 May 2014)

Abstract | Provisional PDF

A comparison of the characteristics of suicide attempters with and without psychiatric consultation before their suicidal behaviours: a cross-sectional study

Harada K, Eto N, Honda Y, Kawano N, Ogushi Y, Matsuo M, Nishimura R

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :146 (21 May 2014)

Abstract | Full text | PDF

Gender differences in suicide attempters: a retrospective study of precipitating factors for suicide attempts at a critical emergency unit in Japan

Narishige R, Kawashima Y, Otaka Y, Saito T, Okubo Y

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :144 (19 May 2014)

Abstract | Full text | PDF

Provision of group psychoeducation for relatives of persons in inpatient depression treatment – a cross-sectional survey of acute care hospitals in Germany

Frank F, Rummel-Kluge C, Berger M, Bitzer EM, Hölzel LP

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :143 (19 May 2014)

Abstract | Full text | PDF

Funding Cuts to Talking Therapies Hits the News

The NZ Herald has reported growing community concern over increasingly restricted funding for talking therapies across the country. Click the headline below to read the full story.


Alarm Over Depression Therapy Cuts – NZ Herald, 29 July 2013

Major insurance providers, Sovereign, have disclosed they will only fund medication and exercise as treatments for depression in future, given the cost associated with talking therapies and the number of people who need them.

In the article, Mike King of The Nutters Club and Key to Life Charitable Trust comments “I can say from experience that talk therapy absolutely works. But few people can afford it. We don’t need less talk therapy. We need to be working with the Government and insurance companies to find ways for more people to get affordable or free therapy.”

A representative from Sovereign insurance states that antidepressants are “proven to work” and uses an example of a person who is only mildly depressed following a period of unemployment as a time when talking therapy would be considered unnecessary and antidepressants considered sufficient. “This shows a misunderstanding of the research,” says Engage Aotearoa service director, Miriam Larsen-Barr, “antidepressants have been shown to be effective only at the severe end of the spectrum. People with mild to moderate symptoms can most definitely be helped with talking therapy and are much more likely to respond positively to that than antidepressant medication. People tend to have these experiences for a reason. Talking therapies help people address those reasons in ways that medication alone cannot, for all that it has its place and uses.” 

One might argue that restricting treatment choices to medication or exercise alone limits service-users’ ability to make the best recovery choices for them or freely give their informed consent – choice is considered a fundamental part of consent and choice requires multiple options. This is reflected in the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Code of Consumer Rights. In the recent Partnership Report from Changing Minds, service-users specifically call for a greater range of choice when it comes to their recovery. The NZ Herald article has already inspired much debate.

Comments on Facebook posts sharing the article are calling for some kind of action to address the issue of funding for talking therapies. Funding for therapy has been an issue for quite some time. Improved access to talking therapies was one of the requests made in the Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices that was delivered to parliament in June. The Health Select Committee will be meeting to discuss the petition in the next month or two, but have yet to release the date of their meeting. If you are passionate about this issue and want to add your voice to those calling for better access to the things that work, email your submission to the chairperson of the Health Select Committee Paul Hutchison at  paul.hutchison@parliament.govt.nz or contact your local MP.