Almost Half of Adults Struggling With Mental Health or Substance Abuse

according to a study conducted by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) in June 2020. With 31% suffering anxiety/depression symptoms, 26% trauma/stressor-related disorder symptoms, 13% started or increased substance use and 11% seriously considered suicide. Doubtless there would be similar findings if such a study was conducted in the UK now. At face value we have a ‘mental health pandemic’.  But actually the figures are almost certainly an artefact of relying on self-report measures says Dr Pies writing in the Psychiatric Times in October 2020. In his article he points out that reliance was placed on a self-report measure the PHQ-4 and no diagnostic interviews were conducted. The article  link is https://cdn.sanity.io/files/0vv8moc6/psychtimes/7f0135f1e41fe8c73ef52e3c6e42aedf04cffadc.pdf

But in the UK the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme bases its treatment of common mental health disorders purely on self-report measures. In terms of its own modus operandi they have probably been unwittingly denying access to great swathes of people since the onset of the pandemic! It is noteworthy that they have not mounted a defence that they are too under resourced to even begin to see such large numbers of people, this may have bestowed some credibility. Arguably, it has become the Denial of Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (DAPT). IAPT cannot have it both ways either it has massively denied treatment throughout the pandemic/ failed to acknowledge a grave mental health crisis or its’ modus operandi is fundamentally flawed! Either way there is need for an independent public inquiry into IAPT. 

Dr Pies October 2020 Psychiatric Times 

4 thoughts to “Almost Half of Adults Struggling With Mental Health or Substance Abuse”

    1. Thanks Michael BACP may have linked up with University of Sheffield, Barkham et al but as far as I can see they have simply made the case that IAPTs high intensity counselling is as good if not better than cbt, which is true using IAPT’s notion of recovery’ based on self-report measures. But Barkham et al fail to a) talk about real world significance of IAPT data and b) the need for independent clinical assessment using a standardised diagnostic interview (a prerequisite for assessing a drug). BACP show no signs of setting the methodological bar at a credible level hey are on a par with BABCP in this respect.
      Mike

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