Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Youth Anti-Depressant Use Avoidable

Youth Anti-Depressant Use Avoidable

New Zealand First is calling on the Government to increase mental health services for children and young persons in the up-coming budget to avoid the over-prescribing of anti-depressant drugs.

Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says that the grave shortage of counselling services for children and teenagers in New Zealand means doctors have few options other than to prescribe potentially dangerous drugs.

“The fact that the number of anti-depressants prescribed for six to 18-year-olds climbed from 14,963 “items dispensed” in 1998, to 24,597 in 2002 must be of great concern to the Minister of Health,” said Mrs Stewart.

“The World Health Organisation recommends a ratio of one child and adolescent psychiatrist per 50,000 of population but New Zealand has a ratio of one per 156,000. Counselling services are in short supply and at the most basic level even the local GP is not sufficiently funded to spend time with patients.

“According to Medsafe SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors) are not registered for use in children but doctors are permitted to prescribe them under specialist advice. The American Food and Drug Administration has warned that SSRIs should not be used in most circumstances and Britain has banned their use for teenagers which raises the question of why their use seems to be increasing in this country.

“There is also the potential for future problems arising from the long term use of medication on the 1,800 children and young people currently being prescribed anti-depressants.

“This is a problem which can be solved by money and the provision of increased services for children and young people in the up-coming budget would be the first step in the right direction. The remedy lies in the Government’s hands,” said Mrs Stewart.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election