Saturday, January 24, 2009

CBT to be used in Schools

Firstly, let me apologise to anyone who is waiting for a reply to an email or a blog comment - I will reply, I just can't say when at the moment.

I've read in the news tonight/this morning (depending on if you have slept yet or not, which I haven't) that the government is to fund a trial of CBT in schools in Bath, Bristol, Nottingham, and Swindon. Although some may doubt the effectiveness of CBT, this to me seems to be a positive step forward for many reasons:

  • The pupils will fill in a questionnaire to assess their mood and to pick up on any signs of depression. For many youths, this means they may get help a lot sooner than they would normally.
  • It also removes from them the daunting task of having to ask for help.
  • Hopefully it will mean that depression will be discussed openly and become less stigmatised.
  • It may even lead to early recognition of other, more serious, mental illnesses.
  • If group CBT is successful, that's obviously a good thing. And it could teach youths valuable coping strategies for the future.
  • If later questionnaires prove that the CBT has been unhelpful for some, then I presume they would be referred for other forms of treatment - again, possibly earlier than they would have been normally.

And we all know that early treatment often means better success rates.

Whether they decide that CBT is an effective treatment or not, I hope questionnaires and discussions about depression and other mental health problems continues in schools. Surely this can only be a good thing? What are your views?

Full news report here.