It’s an affliction that affects around 1 in 20 people every year; but according to new research from UBC, half of patients suffering from depression in BC are failing to receive even the most basic levels of care.
The research was carried out by Joseph Puyat, a PhD candidate in UBC’s school of population and public health. Puyat and his colleagues reviewed health data from almost 110,000 British Columbians diagnosed with depression between 2010 and 2011 to determine whether they had received either antidepressants or psychotherapy – the two recommended treatment options for people suffering with depression.
They found that only 13% of people received at least four psychotherapy or counselling sessions and 47% were prescribed antidepressant medication for at least 12 weeks. Overall, just 53% received the minimum threshold of treatment.
“In a country with a publicly-funded health care system, many people have untreated depression or do not get adequate care,” said Puyat in a release. “Our findings highlight the need to keep the conversation going about how to close the gap in treating mental illness.”
Whilst the findings are startling, the researchers believe that they may underestimate the full extent of the problem as many people who have issues with depression go undiagnosed.