Fine Gael Spokesperson on Mental Health, Dan Neville, TD, expressed concern at the results of the recent Lundbeck Mental Health Barameter 2009 which shows that the concealment of depression continues to be a serious problem.
Deputy Neville stated “It is deeply worrying to think that thirty-five percent of those surveyed who have experienced depression, either personally or amongst family members, concealed the illness from friends and family at the time.
“A problem shared is a problem halved. It is important that the 400,000* people who suffer from depression feel comfortable to talk about their condition among family and friends and are encouraged and supported in seeking intervention when needed.
“Early intervention is crucial to full recovery, particularly in the case of young people. Increased awareness and understanding of depression will lead to earlier recognition of the condition, earlier treatment and earlier recovery leading to significant health gain in the long run. In turn, this will also result in a significant economic gain in the level of productivity and a reduction in demand on our psychiatric services.
“A greater understanding of depression could see increased resources put in place to tackle this debilitating illness, forcing the Government to address its serious neglect of the mental health services.
“When compared to other health conditions, both depression and anxiety are regarded as very disruptive. The World Health Organisation estimates that depression will be the second most disabling medical disorder in the world for all ages by 2020, and is currently the second most disabling in the age category 15-44.