A surge in anti-depressant prescriptions among children in Ireland is ‘concerning’ according to the Minister for Health
Figures show more than 15,000 prescriptions for anti-depressants were issued to children in 2022, representing a 130% increase since 2012.
Minister Stephen Donnelly said “We need to understand this very well,” he said.
“We’ve got to make sure we have mental health services in place, but we have to tackle this at the source as well.”
The minister said he has written to the CMO asking for a full review of anti-depressant prescriptions in Ireland.
“The advice I have is that Ireland has high levels of prescription on anti-depressants, we have high levels of prescription on anti-anxiety medications,” he said.
The figures have prompted worries from experts, who believe it highlights the shortcomings in resources available for CAMHS teams.
The HSE figures published by The Irish Times suggest the surge in prescriptions is most acute among 12 to 15-year-olds, who saw a 150% increase.
The gender divide was evenly split – with equal numbers of boys and girls being prescribed the medications.