Depressive Illnesses

Department of Health written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with the Royal Colleges on addressing depression through diet and alternative medication.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

No such discussions have taken place.

The Department is aware that some patients find complementary and alternative treatments helpful in the management of depression and anxiety. However, there is no conclusive evidence that complementary and alternative therapies are effective in the treatment of moderate to severe depression, but they may help with milder forms of depression.

Recent research has shown that mental health may be influenced by dietary factors. Diet and any alternative therapies should be discussed with a person’s general practitioner, when treatments are being recommended.

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