Research carried out by the Mental Health Foundation showed that only half of GPs are able to refer patients to exercise schemes due to availability. The schemes have proved to be as successful at treating depression as anti-depressants. It’s thought there is not enough funding, and that many GPs are not aware the schemes exist.
Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “This is not about knocking antidepressants, they can be incredibly helpful for some people but the truth is that their side-effects can be unpleasant.”
“People experiencing mild or moderate depression are currently being denied access to a clinically recommended, medication-free treatment that could help them.”
Exercise is best used to treat mild or moderate depression, and patients should have up to three structured and supervised sessions a week, lasting around 45-60 minutes each.