Our campaign to ensure that NICE’s draft guideline for the treatment of depression includes a range of therapies has been given a boost with a letter of support from MPs.

A cross-party letter from 62 MPs and Peers calls for NICE to take the strong opposition to its draft guideline for depression seriously.

We’ve been involved in a long campaign to ensure this guideline delivers a choice of psychological therapies and includes the most up-to-date and appropriate evidence. We currently believe the guideline is not fit for purpose and is failing the public.

It was announced last year that an unprecedented third consultation into the draft guideline will take place.

October consultation cancelled

This came after pressure from us and other organisations, but the consultation planned for October this year has recently been cancelled by NICE and there are currently no details for when this consultation will now happen.

The MPs’ letter has been led by Sir Norman Lamb MP, former Minister of State for Care, and Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health and Social Care.

Also among the signatories is our Vice President Luciana Berger.

Strong opposition

The letter said: “We believe the strong opposition to the proposed changes from such a wide-ranging and growing coalition should be taken seriously.

“The consequence of not addressing the methodology underpinning the new draft guideline are that millions of people suffering from depression will be discriminated against through misleading treatment recommendations. There will also be a damaging impact on services, the mental health workforce, and the way in which research on depression is conducted in the future.”

Matt Smith-Lilley, our Policy and Engagement Lead (Mental Health), said: “It’s fantastic to see so many Parliamentarians joining our calls for NICE to amend this guideline.

Choice of therapy

“The guideline isn’t currently fit for purpose and NICE needs to recognise that a change in the recommendations is essential to ensure that members of the public are able to access the choice of therapy that they deserve and so that the skills and experience of therapists can be at the heart of providing support for people with depression.

“We’ve been preparing for the next consultation to begin in early October, but NICE has recently put that on hold. We’re now waiting to hear when it will be. The ongoing campaigning and steady pressure from us as well as other organisations has directly contributed to securing further consultation on the draft guideline. It’s vital that stakeholders are given the chance to further have their say on the recommendations and to shape these guideline so they can help improve the mental health of people with depression.”

Read the latest on our campaign about the NICE guideline