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Mental Health

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women in the UK suffer from depression; and what the treatment regimens are which are prescribed for these women. [114539]

The Department of Health does not keep central records on the diagnosis of, or treatment provided to, those receiving mental health services, except in cases where an admission to hospital has occurred. However, information on the overall prevalence of mental ill health among adults living in private households is available from the Office for National Statistics (www.statistics.gov.uk).A range of treatment, services and support is available for women and men suffering from depression, including social, therapeutic and creative activities; self-help; practical support; medication and psychological interventions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to provide additional support for members of ethnic minorities suffering from schizophrenia. [115139]

The improvements set out in the NHS Plan, and in the national service framework for mental health services, are designed to help all people with severe mental illness. Continued investment in services will ensure that by 2004, all people with a severe mental illness will be able to access a crisis resolution team 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, all people who regularly disengage from services leading to frequent relapse will be in receipt of assertive outreach services by December 2003 and all young people who develop a severe mental illness will be in receipt of early intervention services by 2004. These services are designed to help individuals, irrespective of ethnicity, but have been shown to be particularly welcomed by black and minority ethnic communities.Services will also be assisted by comprehensive guidance for black and minority ethnic mental health services, which will be issued for consultation later this year. The National Institute for Mental Health has also set up a specific programme on black and minority ethnic mental health to assist services.

By 2006 there will be 500 community development workers in black and minority ethnic health. These workers are there to help local minority ethnic groups engage with services and help to expand local capacity for dealing with mental health problems.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence published an appraisal on the use of atypical anti-psychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia in June 2002 and clinical guidelines on the management of schizophrenia in December 2002. It will be for local services and health professionals to consider the impact of current and future guidance.