De-stress Project: GP prescriptions and referrals for depression in low income communities

Providing effective treatment and support for mental distress is a stated government aim. Within low-income communities, use of antidepressant medications is relatively high, but current strategies frame mental distress as an individual psychological problem, masking the factors that are often the root causes of suffering e.g. social isolation, unemployment.

De-STRESS project research aims to:

examine why and how people’s ability to cope with poverty-related issues has become increasingly pathologised

understand how high levels of antidepressant prescribing and use are impacting on people’s health and wellbeing in low-income communities

The lead author of the report is Dr Felicity Thomas, Senior Research Fellow on the Cultural Contexts of Health, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Medical School at the University of Exeter.

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