Mental Health Advocacy and Professional Organizations Sign Open Letter to FDA
Groups Urge Regulators to Consider Public Health Impact of Upcoming Deliberations Around Antidepressants and Adult Data on Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
Contact: Heather Cobb, (703) 797-2588
The open letter and a list of signatories follow:
As advocates for people living with depression and other mental illnesses, we strongly urge the FDA to carefully consider the potential impact of the agency's public statements on the risks and benefits of antidepressants. Access to effective treatments for depression is pivotal in improving the lives of the 19 million Americans that face this devastating illness each year.
Depression can be a debilitating and even fatal illness; yet, despite the wide availability of effective treatments, fewer than half of Americans with depression seek help. This is despite a deep science base that shows treatment works and that medication is often a critical tool in treating depression. In fact, untreated depression carries far greater risk than any potential risk of adverse effects of medication.
It is important to draw lessons from previous pediatric warnings and ensuing media coverage that created barriers to care and unnecessarily scared families away from treatment. The best way to protect the public health is to increase awareness about mental illnesses and treatment options, encourage proper monitoring of patients in treatment and communicate balanced information that helps patients and their families cope and properly treat these terrible illnesses.
Our non-profit national mental health advocacy and medical professional organizations represent consumers, physicians, researchers and the top experts in the field of mental health and neuroscience. For more information about mental illness and treatment, we recommend that you talk to your health care provider or visit our organization websites.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - www.aacap.org
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry - www.aagponline.org
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology - www.acnp.org
American Association of Suicidology - www.suicidology.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - www.afsp.org
American Psychiatric Association - www.psych.org
American Psychotherapy Association - www.americanpsychotherapy.com
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - www.chadd.org
Families for Depression Awareness - www.familyaware.org
Kristin Brooks Hope Center - www.hopeline.com
Mental Health America - www.mentalhealthamerica.net
National Alliance on Mental Illness - www.nami.org
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education - www.save.org
Suicide Prevention Action Network - www.spanusa.org
The Jason Foundation, Inc - www.jasonfoundation.com