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Major depression can be prevented. Toward that end, new research suggests that the health care system should provide more routine access to depression prevention interventions. Just like people have access to vaccinations, it is being suggested that mental health intervention be just a accessible.
In the new article which presents the proposal, the authors have created a road map for the next ten years. Working from the assumption that previous studies are correct suggesting that 22% to 38% of major depressive episodes could be prevented, these authors believe that with certain interventions significant progress can be made toward eliminating depressive episodes within a decade.
“Very few people are aware that depression can be prevented, including professionals in the field and there are very few preventive services,” explained Ricardo Munoz, PhD, a depression prevention and treatment researcher in the department of psychiatry at UCSF and director of the UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital Latino Mental Health Research Program. “The World Health Organization has named depression the number one cause of disability in the world.”
Suicide, self-harm, long term disability, abuse are all products of depressive episodes. Lost productive time and substantial medical intervention when the condition has been left untreated translate to millions of dollars lost.
“The healthcare system is set up to pay providers for treatment. It has not been set up to pay providers for prevention of mental disorders,” stated Munoz. “Without financial incentives for prevention few professionals will engage in preventive interventions. It’s a major structural obstacle.”
Identification of high risk individuals at the earliest possible age with appropriate treatment is possible, appropriate and saves money.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, American Psychologist
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