MHF urges GPs to push exercise

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is to target GPs and patients with a campaign that suggests exercise as a treatment for depression.

The organisation wants to encourage the use of exercise referrals alongside, or instead of, prescriptions for anti-depressants.

It will publish statistics showing how often GPs prescribe exercise for depression, following recommendations by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence that exercise should be used as treatment for mild depression.

‘It should be one of the first three treatments that GPs think of, but at the moment it isn’t,’ said MHF director of comms Celia Richardson. She said she will target doctor and patient media because ‘some doctors feel pressured by patients to give a prescription’.

‘It’s important patients know exercise referrals are available and that the treatment works,’ she added.

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