MORE than one in seven Scots has been prescribed antidepressants in the last year, new figures have revealed.
Official statistics show 814,181 people were given medication in 2014/15, an increase of 5 per cent on the previous year. This is a rise of more than 28 per cent since 2009/10.
People living in deprived areas were more likely to be dispensed the drugs, according to ISD Scotland statisticians.
The rise was branded as “extremely alarming” by opposition politicians, who criticised the Scottish Government for failing to deliver on its promise to halt the rise by widening access to alternative treatments.
Jamie Hepburn, minister for sport, health improvement and mental health, said: “The Scottish Government has long worked hard to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems. As this stigma declines we would expect more patients to seek help from their GPs for problems such as depression.”
Ministers are committed to improving access to psychological therapies and improving provision is an “absolute priority”, he insisted.