£170m For Mental Health

Health secretary Alan Johnson has outlined a £170 million cash injection for talking therapy treatments in a bid to tackle the nation’s mental health problems.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, as the programme is called, will see 3,600 extra psychological therapists trained up to deliver two levels of treatment for mental health patients.

People with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety will be offered either high intensity therapy or low intensity therapy depending on the severity of their condition.

The health secretary said: “The national guidelines published today are an important step in securing access to psychological therapies for everyone who needs them.

“The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme has already captured the imagination of Primary Care Trusts up and down the country and is transforming the lives of thousands of people with depression and anxiety disorders in the areas that have been involved so far.

“This document describes how that transformation can begin to be delivered in every strategic health authority area over the next few years.”

As a result of the investment, the government expects to see 900,000 more people treated for depression and anxiety and 25,000 fewer people off work due to mental health problems.

More than one in six people suffer from common mental health problems and GPs spend a third of their time dealing with these patients.