Scientists test depression treatment for people with learning difficulties

A new depression treatment for people with learning disabilities is bring tested by scientists.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have received a £1.2 million grant in order to explore how treatment for these individuals should differ.

The grant, issued by the National Institute for Health Research, will fund a test of a 'behavioural activation' approach called BEAT-IT.

According to, the BEAT-IT programme revolves around getting depressed people more involved in activities that they may have been avoiding. It's less centred around speaking, making it potentially more beneficial for those with learning difficulties.

The scientists are primarily aiming to discover if this new programme is cost-effective in relation to other depression treatments. Those in counselling careers or anyone with an interest in psychology could be keen to how the test works out.

In an interview with, the study's lead author Andrew Johada claimed that it can often be harder to spot and treat the signs of depression in those with learning difficulties.

He said: "Many of these individuals are socially marginalised and don't have the same chance to take part in purposeful activity as others in society.

"It's also one of the reasons that depression can sometimes be over looked in this population, because it can be harder to notice when people become withdrawn."