Adam Caller, founder of the leading private tutoring firm, commented this week following WHO concerns that an increasing number of children are being prescribed anti-depressants, and warns teachers against being too quick to ‘label’ children.
The concerns raised last month by the World Health Organisation  were prompted by revelations that the number of children in the UK being prescribed anti-depressant medications has risen by as much as 54%, and the suggestion that over-prescribing of such drugs in under-18s may be detrimental to their health and development in the long-term.
Adam Caller, who founded Tutors International in 1999, and is an independent education consultant with particular experience in special educational needs, warns the public against labelling children as depressed – and issuing medication – without exploring other educational options.
Mr Caller said in his statement: “Aside from the immediate alarm bells that ring when children are being prescribed drugs that aren’t licensed for use in that age group, Tutors International has also noticed that parents and educators are more frequently labelling children as depressed. I don’t think that children are becoming more depressed, it’s more to do with the fact that the yardstick seems to be constantly changing when it comes to measuring their mental health. Better guidance and provision needs to be put in place as to how we teach, handle, and deal with children exhibiting symptoms of depression, rather than being quick to throw prescription medications at them.”
Tutors International has extensive experience in placing highly-qualified tutors with children on the wide spectrum of specific educational needs, including dyslexia, ADHD, and mental health issues. Mr Caller has hands-on experience of tutoring children with such difficulties, and now focuses on recruiting exceptional tutors, in order to help families in a variety of circumstances, worldwide.
Mr Caller added: ” I believe that all children – and adults – fall somewhere on the spectrum of any labelled disorder. Most of us sit somewhere on the scale that doesn’t require any medical intervention at all. We’ve seen children in the past diagnosed with anxiety and depression, that have thrived with the focused attention and adaptive teaching styles provided by one to one tuition, and away from the pressures of the classroom. Of course we know that depression and mental health problems do exist, but I believe they are significantly less common than we think and, in many cases, are entirely fixable without the need for prescription medications.”
To find out more about the services offered by Tutors International, visit tutors-international.com. Tutors can browse the latest vacancies and submit an application by visiting tutors-international.net.
 Anti-depressants: WHO concern over use in children https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35756602 Hywel Griffith. BBC Health. March 2016