The Singapore Family Physician

Back to issue Vol 47 No. 6 - Update: Malnutrition, Muscle Loss and Sarcopenia

Multi-Prong Approach to Improve Outcome of Managing Adolescene Depression in Primary Care

Tan Hwee Mian Jane
Tan Tat Hao Alon
Kang Chun-Yun Gary
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 47 No 6 - Update: Malnutrition, Muscle Loss and Sarcopenia
40 - 42
1 May 2021
Depression affects around 4.4 percent of the global population and is the fourth leading cause of illness and disability among adolescents aged 15-19 years. Adolescence is a difficult period with many struggling to develop emotional and mental capabilities to deal with the rising demands of school and family. Some may even have to deal with social triggers such as bullying. In our family physician clinic practice in a polyclinic, we managed a 15-year-old student who was a victim of school bullying which led to her depression. While it is common for polyclinic doctors to prescribe anti-depressants and refer patients with depression to a psychiatrist, we went a step further by collaborating with her family, school and various community health providers and community mental health outreach programme to ensure a positive outcome by providing timely and holistic support and counselling. This also circumvented the stigma and isolation should she be primarily managed in a tertiary care psychiatric unit, thereby minimising the risk of non-compliance with treatment and followup.