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Antidepressant scripts leap 24% in four years

Some 2.1 million more prescriptions of anti depressants were prescribed in 2008 than in the previous year, according to new figures revealed by the Liberal Democrats.

In total 36 million prescriptions for antidepressants were issued, figures releases as in an answer to a Parliamentary question tabled by health secretary Norman Lamb show, an increase of 24% over the last four years.

Mr Lamb said the increase was ‘deeply disturbing'. ‘We cannot tolerate a situation where doctors are putting people on anti-depressants simply because waiting times for psychological therapies are still far too long. The figures also raise serious concerns over the impact of the current recession on people's mental health. Ministers have acted far too slowly to ensure that support is put in place to help people through these difficult times. Urgent action is needed to ensure psychological therapies are available to those who need them.'

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