Brain Health Awareness Week (BHAW), September 22 to 27.

Debate: Antidepressants: Are They Overprescribed and Ineffective? *

Speakers: Dr. Hazen Gandy, Dr. Simon Hatcher, Dr. Pierre Blier and Dr. Richard Bergeron

In a live debate moderated by local television news anchor Adrian Harewood of CBC Ottawa, four experienced psychiatrists affiliated with the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) will address a highly divisive yet significant question: Are antidepressants overprescribed and ineffective?

Canada has one of the highest rates for prescription of antidepressants in the world, with about 9% of the population taking them at any given time — and usage has doubled in the last twenty years. Is this because doctors today are prescribing them more effectively to prevent remission of depression? Or is it a result of the pharmaceutical industry encouraging the medical profession to medicate distress?

Taking the stance that antidepressants are overprescribed, to the detriment of some patients’ recovery, is Dr. Hazen Gandy, head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at CHEO and Dr. Simon Hatcher, vice-chair of research at the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Ottawa.

Making the counter-argument will be Dr. Pierre Blier, professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Psychopharmacology. Joining him will be Dr. Richard Bergeron, psychiatrist and neuroscientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Drs. Blier and Bergeron will argue that antidepressants are extremely effective, not overprescribed and necessary for many patients’ long-term recovery. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and, at the end of the evening, vote on which was the better argued point-of-view.

* This event is being held uniquely in English

Date: Thursday, September 25
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Desmarais Building, University of Ottawa (55 Laurier Avenue East)
Room: DMS 12102 (Reception in DMS 12110)
Cost: Free (registration required)

Should you experience any problems with the registration process, please contact us at or Natasha Hollywood at 613-562-5461.

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Debate: Antidepressants: Are They Overprescribed and Ineffective? (Sold out)
Brain Health Awareness Week is a six-day event in Ottawa featuring the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI), a world-class leader in neuroscience research and treatment of brain disorders including stroke, depression/suicide, Parkinson’s and neuromuscular disease.
September 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM
Participants/tickets: 1 No Charge