According to recent figures published in the County Down Spectator, (31st March ‘16)there are over 500 youngsters under 15 on antidepressants – when they should be enjoying life more than any age group. Over 5,000 teenagers between 15 and 19.
Commenting on this, UKIP Assembly Candidate in North Down, Bill Piper said:
“I don’t doubt the Spectator’s figures for one minute. My own experience has made me shudder at the number of people I’ve met recently under 25 on antidepressants and tranquilisers.
I hope we are not repeating the mistake of the 1960s when it was easier to give a patient tranquillisers (often for the rest of their lives) than root out the problem and the issues.
“I know that at this time – the NHS front-line is grossly underfunded and GP’s time per patient visit is very strictly rationed – but is this still a health service we are running or is it now an illness service?”
Mr. Piper added:
“Surely what we’d much rather have is government bodies working together to prevent, or cure rather than just constantly prescribe these medicines. Our NHS needs to be better funded, less bureaucratic and kept out of private hands. It should be free at the point of use and far more proactive than is the current case.
“Recent and current examples examples of better tackling ill-health and promoting healthy lives can be found across the water in Manchester- the ‘Healthier Together’ strategy. Our Health Minister and the relevant bodies could learn a thing or two from this work.”
Notes to editor: