Taking medication for my mental health

Taking anti-depressants or any form of SSRI can vastly improve the quality of someone's life who is experiencing mental ill-health. However, it's important to understand how such medication may impact you in other ways.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a widely used type of antidepressant.

They’re mainly prescribed to treat depression, particularly persistent or severe cases, and are often used in combination with a talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

SSRIs are usually the first choice medicine for depression because they generally have fewer side effects than most other types of antidepressant. However, it is important to consider the possibility of experiencing side effects from your medication.

The OLLIE Foundation is a suicide prevention charity, set up in 2016 by three Hertfordshire parents who had each lost a son to suicide and who vowed to do all they could to stop another family going through the heartache they were experiencing.

OLLIE stands for One Life Lost Is Enough.

OLLIE recognises that there is an inherent conflict when prescribing antidepressants (SSRIs). On the one hand, it’s known that untreated depression can lead to suicide, however, we also know that SSRIs can initially make a patient feel worse and known side-effects include deepening depression, worsening anxiety and suicidal thinking.

Jordan Phillip had just begun taking a new prescription of the SSRI, Fluoxetine, when on December 4th 2019 and just a matter of days before meeting again with his doctor to review his progress, Jordan took his own life.

The OLLIE Foundation’s Safer Prescribing Initiative offers a comprehensive and robust programme of support for all stakeholders that can enhance both the medical, community and self-support of patients using SSRIs such that patients can be better protected from self-harm and suicide whilst on medication.

Prescription Safe Plan

Safe Plan describes what someone can do for themselves should their well-being deteriorate. The Prescription Safe Plan also considers the possibility of experiencing side effects from your medication that may cause your mood and well-being to temporarily reduce.

OLLIE has created some useful resources to help you create and understand your Safe Plan and Prescription Safe Plan.

For full details and how to access information relating to this Prescription Safe Plan, please visit this page of The OLLIE Foundation’s website.

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