GPs seek support for diagnosing depression in young people

GPs need more support in dealing with depression and drug abuse in children and young people, early findings from a DoH-funded survey suggest.

The survey of GPs in London and the north west of England, carried out as part of a study into depression and substance abuse among young people, found that GPs lack confidence in their diagnostic skills in both areas.

Of the 62 GPs that replied to the survey, 65 per cent said they were not confident diagnosing substance abuse and 58 per cent lacked confidence in diagnosing depression in young people and children.

NCB project development officer Sonita Pobi said that a key factor was that too few children and young people sought help from their GP on these issues.

The survey found that GPs saw on average between five and 10 children and young people with depression a year and up to five cases of substance abuse.

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