Mental Health ‘Talking Therapies’ Declared A Success

The Department of Health has declared that the talking therapies trialled in Doncaster and Newham were a complete success with 90 per cent of patients reportedly feeling “highly satisfied” with the service.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said that another ten pathfinder projects were to be launched with £2 million worth of funding behind them to help provide access to therapy for people suffering from mental illnesses.

Clinical evidence has now shown 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, just one example of CBT, rather than being dependent on medication alone.

Speaking at the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies conference in London, Ms Hewitt said: “A year ago, I launched two demonstration sites to establish the best way of providing therapy and to examine the benefits of this treatment approach. One year on and PCTs are now obliged to provide computerised CBT to patients.

“I am pleased to announce today the next phase in the programme, with the establishment of 10 more PCT-led demonstration sites across England,” she continued. “We have a vision that, one day, people will have the choice of quickly and conveniently accessing a range of therapy services, for example via the internet or the local library.”

Ms Hewitt went on to say that this vision would only become a reality through partnerships between the health sector and organisations like social enterprises to help run the new sites.