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UKCP and BACP respond to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ statement on antidepressant withdrawal

May 30, 2019

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In response to today’s statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which calls for greater consideration to be given to withdrawal effects by those prescribing antidepressants, UKCP and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) have issued the following statement:

“We welcome today’s statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which highlights the risk to some people of severe and long-lasting withdrawal effects from antidepressants, and the associated risks of overprescribing. If heeded, this intervention could substantially enhance care for people with depression and allow them to make better informed choices about their treatment.

“It’s essential that people with depression have access to the right treatment for them, which is why we and other organisations continue to campaign for NICE to create a fit-for-purpose guideline for the treatment of adults with depression. Treatment choices must include a range of evidence-based talking therapies which, in many parts of the country, are sadly lacking.

“We are also currently producing guidance, in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence and the British Psychological Society, for therapists working with clients taking psychiatric medication. This will, in part, serve to reduce the disconnect between prescribers and therapists. Today’s statement, in highlighting the distress caused to many people by withdrawal effects, illustrates why this guidance is so important.”

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