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Monday 24th October 2016

Class therapy for teenagers

26th January 2009

A £1 million government trial is to being carried out around England to see if group therapy can help young people with depression.


The research will take place at schools in Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Swindon and will involve about 7,000 pupils.

Pupils will take part in nine sessions and will complete a questionnaire at certain points during the trial in order to determine their mood.

The scheme is based on an Australian programme which teaches young people how to stay calm, solve problems, manage negative emotions and empathise with other people.

The researchers are hoping the trial will help the one in five teenagers who are at a "high risk" of becoming depressed.

The programme - which used cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) techniques - will involve all the pupils in the class.

The government has earmarked £173 million to improve access to CBT, which is currently recommended before antidepressants for people who are mildly or moderately depressed.

The scheme's head, Professor Paul Stallard, an expert in child mental health at the University of Bath and an NHS consultant clinical psychologist, stated that CBT had shown good results in treating depressed children.

"We're looking at trying to give them useful skills as part of the school curriculum," he said.

Professor Andre Tylee from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said:

"NICE guidance highlights the need for early recognition and intervention as well as better prevention.This study will provide valuable information about whether group CBT can prevent depression in this age group."


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