Boots UK has launched a collection of on-demand mental health services via its website as antidepressant prescribing continues to rise.  

Patients will now be able to access a ‘range of tools and treatments’ including talking therapy and prescription medicines ‘quickly and conveniently’ on Boots' website, the multiple announced last week (March 2). 

The on-demand services range from £10 to £65 per month, depending on which service the patient needs. 

The service has launched in response to an ‘increase in requests from patients for mental health services’ in pharmacies, Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots, said.  

This week, new data suggested that the number of antidepressant drugs prescribed in England is on the increase. 

According to NHS Business Service Authority (NHSBSA), more than 21 million drugs were prescribed between October and December 2021, a rise of almost 4% on the 20.5 million items prescribed during the same quarter in 2020.  

It was also an increase of 2% on the 20.8 million drugs prescribed between July and September last year. 

Within the new service, patients can access an online doctor who can prescribe medication for anxiety and depression or they can self refer for psychological and emotional support including talking therapies.  

The service also gives patients access to a library of free articles, information and advice on mental health. 

Mr Donovan said: ‘When it comes to mental health, it’s important that patients can access the treatments that suit them. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety affect people differently and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.’ 

This comes at a time when the number of adults experiencing depression and anxiety is still up on pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 1.6 million people waiting to access mental health support on the NHS.