Salford people are getting prescribed antidepressant drugs at a rate of over three times higher than posh places like Kensington and Chelsea, new data shows.
Salford, along with Blackpool and Redcar and Cleveland, was in the top three areas in the country for prescribing away the blues last year. But in other areas with similar `socio economic deprivation' doctors have been sending people for therapy and counselling, rather than doling out the happy pills.
"In the past, prescribing has been the first treatment option" states Knowsley PCT "We should now see counselling as the first option."
Professionals, who are urging doctors to use therapy before Prozac, now fear that funding for training more therapists may run out, after the Government didn't ringfence it in the NHS budget.
Meanwhile, using government statistics, a PCT and Salford City Council report last year calculated that just over 6000 men and just under 15000 women in the city are being treated for depression. This equates to 21,000 people out of a population of 218,000, or almost 10% of the total population.
The PCT/Council report stated that "work is taking place in Salford to consider…what is termed `emotional wellbeing'…This strand of work is looking at improving peoples' happiness…particularly for those who are most in need…"
Judging by the latest number of antidepressant prescriptions, happy Mondays in Salford are few and far between.
See Horrific Happiness Stats: click here
See The Shocking State of Salford 2010: click here