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Antidepressant prescriptions on the rise in Jersey

Antidepressant prescriptions on the rise in Jersey

Saturday 10 December 2022

Antidepressant prescriptions on the rise in Jersey

Saturday 10 December 2022

The number of islanders being prescribed antidepressants has risen significantly in the last six years, according to a new report.

The government's recently released Public Mental Health Profile for 2021 found that 13% of Jersey's population were prescribed an anti-depressant medication last year – the figure has increased by 18% in the last six years.

According to the profile, which is the first of its kind released by the government, one in four Jersey children had low or medium self-esteem in 2021 and 29% of children in schools years 10 and 12 had thought about self harm.

The report states: "The number of patients prescribed at least one antidepressant item has risen by 18% over the past six years.

"In England, NHS data shows that in 2020, 14% of the population in England received, and had dispensed, one or more anti-depressant prescriptions. This compares to around 13% of the Jersey population being prescribed an antidepressant medication in 2021."

One in ten adults recorded a low score for life satisfaction and feeling worthwhile and the profile also found that men were two and a half times as likely to have taken their own lives as women.

Commenting on children's mental health, the report stated: "Those children that or were materially deprived, lived with black mould in their bedrooms, or didn't have a dedicated space at home to do school work were more likely to have low self-esteem, showing the impact that deprivation can have on children's self-esteem.

"The proportion of pupils with low or medium low self-esteem has remained similar, between 21% and 25%, in surveys in 2018, 2019 and 2021."


Pictured: Children who lived in substandard accommodation were more likely to have low self-esteem.

Referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services also increased from 685 in 2020 to 870 in 2021.

Of the year 10 and 12 school children surveyed, the report stated: "Overall, 29% of them had thought about self-harm, and of these, over 80% went on to actually deliberately hurt themselves."

The average anxiety score for school pupils was 5.1 out of 10, which was classified as a medium level of anxiety. The proportion of pupils scoring high for anxiety ranged from 19% of year 8 males to 50% for year 10 females.

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