NICE Guideline changed after Olly’s mum’s campaign

We are really pleased to see that the recommendations that our founder and Chair, Olly’s mother, Ann, made to the NICE stakeholder’s committee have been heeded. New guidance for GPs states that when prescribing antidepressants to 18-25-year-olds or to those at increased risk of suicide, this SHOULD be done face to face.

I’m very pleased to see that Olly’s Future’s recommendations about face-to-face prescribing of anti-depressants for 18-25-year-olds and those thought to be at risk of suicide have been added to the new NICE Guideline on Depression in Adults published today. Ever since my beloved son died by suicide five years ago, I’ve been calling for GPs to see patients face to face when prescribing anti-depressants for the first time.

In Oliver’s case, he was prescribed Citalopram over the phone by a doctor he had never met or spoken to before. He died after four days of taking Citalopram. While face to face prescribing is not mandated, it is a huge step to see that people should be assessed in person. It sends a clear message to GPs and to patients alike that a face to face consultation before being prescribed anti-depressants is to be expected. The guidelines also includes informing patients at risk of suicide that SSRIs can increase suicidal ideation, agitation and anxiety in the early stages – all of which my family were unaware of – and that GPs ensure patients are aware of how to get help.

Depression in adults: treatment and management

This doesn’t bring my son back but it does bring comfort to know that his loss will have improved the chances for others to stay safe from suicide.

Olly’s Future will be running a campaign to make sure all GP practices in the country are aware of this new Guideline which we welcome in general, as it has included a great deal of improvements in treating people with depression.

We run campaigns to make significant policy changes and raise awareness.

This campaigning sits alongside our two flagship initiatives. Practise Hope, where we work with GP surgeries nationwide to build suicide prevention skills into their surgeries through tarining and community engagement. As well as our work increasing the confidence and skills of medical students to have life saving conversations

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