European conference looks at depression

Incidences of depression and anxiety could be reduced by at least 25 per cent through preventive measures. This was one of the conclusions drawn from the Psychology for Health conference organised by the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations, which took place in Brussels on September 20th and 21st.

Another agreed outcome of the event was that by altering a person's behaviour and living environment, health damage they suffer due to smoking, alcohol abuse and eating too much can be reduced.

A total of 75 psychological experts took part in discussions and agreed that scientific knowledge should be put to better use in the field.

It was shown that psychological interventions are cost-effective and have the capacity to improve quality of life, while behaviour-based and cognitive approaches can reduce the need for pharmacological and medical treatment.

In addition, it was shown that psychologists can play a vital role with regard to schools and enterprises, as they might spot early signs of physical and mental illness, assist in the prevention of bullying and help avert suicide.