UK Health Secretary Alan Johnson today announced a substantial £170 million expansion of psychological therapies to provide better support for people with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Millions of people suffer from depression and anxiety. These are the most common of the mental health problems, which account for 40% of the numbers on Incapacity Benefit. Treating them is estimated to take up about a third of GPs’ time.
Psychological therapies have proved to be as effective as drugs in tackling these common mental health problems and are often more effective in the longer term. NICE guidelines on treatment for depression and anxiety recommend therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Building on two demonstration projects, the Government will next year roll out psychological therapies to twenty new areas before increasing services to cover the whole country over the next few years.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said:
“More than one in six people suffer from mental health problems at any one time. For many people prescribing medication is a successful treatment but we know that psychological therapies work equally well.
“Today’s announcement shows the government’s commitment to mental health. Improving access to psychological therapies will give people with mental health problems a real choice of treatment, helping to reduce dependence on medication.”
By 2010/11, the NHS will spend £170m per year on psychological therapies, with more than £30m in 2008/09 and more than £100m in 2009/10. Over the next three years, this investment in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) will mean:
– 900,000 more people treated for depression and anxiety
– 450,000 of them are likely to be completely cured (as expected with NICE guidelines)
– 25,000 fewer people with mental health problems on sick pay and benefits
– 3,600 more newly trained psychological therapists giving evidence-based treatment
– all GP practices having access to psychological therapies as the programme rolls out
– average waiting for psychological treatments down from the current 18 months to a few weeks (in line with urgent outpatient waiting times in the rest of the NHS) as the service rolls out
Lord Richard Layard, co-author of the London School of Economics Depression Report said:
‘This is great news and just what we’ve all been waiting for. Mental health is the biggest social problem in our country. This new service will bring relief from misery to millions of people.
‘I’m delighted the Government has committed to implement the NICE guidelines on treating depression and, importantly, is doing so in the first big announcement of the new spending review.’
Health Minister Ivan Lewis said:
“This major expansion of psychological therapies represents a historic transformation of mental health services in our country. These new services will ensure people have the support to cope with anxiety and depression while minimising the stigma associated with using mental health services.”
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Sub-editorMental Health :: UK announces £170 million boost to mental health therapies
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on October 11th, 2007 at 9:25 pm.
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