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Talking Therapies: Successfully Equipping Children and Young People for Life, in East Lothian

Talking Therapies: Successfully Equipping Children and Young People for Life, in East Lothian

Today [09 March 2016] it was reported the World Health Organisation has raised concerns over the 54% increase in prescribed antidepressants for under 18s in the UK. 

Our experience supports the case made by Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director: Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the World Health Organisation (WHO) that – while antidepressants have their place - there are other, more effective, ways of supporting children and young people who are dealing with depression.

We therefore welcome the recent announcement from the Scottish Government that they plan to significantly invest in improving mental health services for children, as well as for adults.

On BBC Radio Scotland this morning, Jacqui Lindsay – the manager of CrossReach Counselling Lothian - spoke of the impact the services being offered to school children and young people in the East Lothian area is having.  Our counselling services support individuals to find the root cause of their depression and then provide the tools needed to deal with other things when they strike.  CrossReach’s counselling services see the children and young people they support build resilience as they are equipped to face the challenges of life without having to rely on antidepressants. 

In short, Jacqui told Hayley Millar that, while antidepressants can help to treat symptoms, the support CrossReach provides is a solution.

The service, without having to advertise, is in high demand.  Referrals from GPs and other health care professionals have seen a 98% increase over the past 2 years.  In addition, the referrals of families for therapy have increased by almost 200% over the same period.

Having taken measures to meet this unprecedented need by recruiting more qualified volunteer counsellors, our waiting list has been reduced to 2-3 months – but we want to do more.

Over the past 10 years CrossReach, through charitable income, has supported the training a significant number of counsellors to obtain a diploma in Children's Counselling, significantly increasing the availability of skilled and trained professional support for Scotland’s children and young people.

With many agencies in the Third Sector already providing excellent services supporting young people to overcome depression, it is our hope that the Scottish Government will partner with us so that counselling is available to everyone who needs it.


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Charis House, 47 Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2SR
Tel: 0131 657 2000 Email: info@crossreach.org.uk