Talking therapies including CBT made more available
New Mental Health Minister Ivan Lewis in his first major announcement, signalled the Government's commitment to lead a radical change in the way mental health services are delivered. He today gave the go-ahead for eleven new projects which will allow people with anxiety and depression better access to psychological therapies.
The eleven successful areas will be providing innovative schemes specifically designed for their local communities, to help individuals to gain quick access to psychological therapy services. This includes a scheme in Derby which will help to tackle the mental health needs of people from black and other ethnic minority communities in the most deprived areas of the city. This service will focus on people who are unemployed or in danger of losing their employment. In Salford the project will help women with pre and post-natal mental health problems and providing patients with diabetes with psychological support.
All these services are designed to reduce the time that patients are ill and allow them to regain their independence, particularly in returning to work and finding new jobs. The areas will be getting a share of £2.2 million and follow the success of two pilot schemes in Doncaster and Newham.
Announcing the new sites, Ivan Lewis said:
"Mental well being is one of the great challenges facing a modern society. Depression and anxiety are classless conditions which can equally destroy the life of the top business executive and the unemployed, low paid worker."
"We know that mental health problems have a serious impact on both families and our economy. They account for a significant proportion of sick leave in all sections of the labour market.
"These pathfinders point the way to a radical overhaul of mental health services with a much greater focus in future on creating access to talking therapies which ensure people are supported to make a rapid and sustainable recovery"
Ann Bowling, Patient Advisor to Doncaster IAPT, who herself has used talking therapies said:
"Psychological therapy has made a huge difference to my life and basically helped me to keep functioning.
"It involves helping yourself by recognising and challenging negative thoughts. It is now very much part of my every day existence and has helped me to get an entirely new, far more positive outlook on life."
At any one time, one in six adults experiences a mental health problem - more than will suffer from cancer or heart disease - and many of these suffer from more common problems such as anxiety or depression. Clinical evidence shows that better access to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help cure depression and reduce time off work due to ill-health. Patients also prefer talking therapy, rather than being dependent on medication alone.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive from MIND said:
'We know that people want a greater a choice of talking therapies when they experience mental health problems. This is why mental health charities united in the We Need To Talk coalition, making the case for expanding access to talking therapies. We are delighted that the announcement of the ten Pathfinder sites shows tangible and very welcome progress. This is a very important next step in making these essential therapies available to people when and where they need them, and we look forward to a full national roll-out as soon as possible."
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