Ministerial commitment over investment in depression therapies welcome – Swinson

Jo Swinson MP today secured a Ministerial commitment over the implementation of new recommendations for the treatment of depression sufferers.

A report into depression and anxiety disorders, published by the London School of Economics last month, details how hundreds of thousands of people could be lifted off Incapacity Benefit, and the economy consequently boosted, by investing in depression and anxiety therapies.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jo Swinson asked Secretary of State for Work and Pensions John Hutton:

“What is the Minister’s opinion of The Depression Report, published last month by the LSE, which suggests huge savings could be made on incapacity benefit if cognitive behaviour therapy were made available to those suffering from depression or anxiety disorders as recommended by NICE? If he hasn’t read it yet, will he do so and give serious consideration to its proposals with his colleagues in the Department of Health?”

The Minister indicated in his reply that he had read the LSE report and that he was recommending that its proposals be implemented.

Jo Swinson commented:

“The findings of the LSE report show that at some point in our lives, an estimated one in six of us could be diagnosed as having depression or chronic anxiety disorder. Further, treatment for sufferers costs no more than £750, the same amount spent on Incapacity Benefit and lost in taxes by each claimant every month.

“Naturally, we should be doing all we can to treat sufferers of mental illness, and according to the LSE report, the economic case for investing in treatment is open and shut. This is a clear opportunity to improve the quality of life of a great many people, which we must not fail to grasp.

“I was delighted to hear the Minister give his commitment on this issue. I will monitor the Government’s progress in implementing this policy with interest.”

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