Canadians and Americans Urged to Demand That Physicians Use Guidelines to Treat Patients with Depression

    VANCOUVER, March 5 /CNW/ - Canadians and Americans must "raise their
voice and demand basic standards of care for those suffering depression and
other common mental disorders."
    Bill Wilkerson, Co-Founder and CEO of the Global Business and Economic
Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, says "below standard medical care
is the standard for mental illnesses."
    In a speech to be delivered on Wednesday morning (March 7th) to the
"Bottom Line" Mental Health conference, Wilkerson says that in both the United
States and Canada, fewer than half and closer to one-quarter of those treated
for depression receive guideline-level care.
    "This is absurd," Wilkerson says. "Guidelines for treating depression are
available to family physicians and psychiatrists but seem to be routinely
ignored by a large majority of practitioners."
    He calls on medical associations to campaign for their members to use
guidelines as a basic standard of care and treatment in these cases.
    A public opinion poll conducted for the Roundtable by Ipsos-Reid shows
that more than 75% of Americans and Canadians believe treatment is available
for depression sufferers.
    "This assumption is misplaced and melts away in the face of the facts,"
Wilkerson says.
    Suicide is the most common form of violent death in Canada and the United
States. Depression is present in most of the cases - perhaps as many as 90% of
the total.
    "This means inadequate care and treatment of an otherwise treatable
condition can have tragic consequences," Wilkerson says "and the odds are,
sooner or later, physicians will be held accountable on those grounds."

For further information:

For further information: Bill Wilkerson can be reached at (416) 552-5937
or, c/o Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver @ 1-800-663-1515 (Canada) and
1-800-937-1515 (US)

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