to "cure" 450,000 depressed and anxious people in three
years, states government
by Angela Hussain
article was modified on March 2, 2008)
cognitive behavioural therapists will "cure" 450,000 people
who have depression or anxiety within three years, ministers have
will be the achievement of the £170m Improving Access to Psychological
Therapies (IAPT) programme, resulting in 25,000 fewer people on
sick pay and benefits, government ministers have stated.
NHS has been told to recruit an extra 3,700 therapists - and train
them in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to treat 900,000 depressed
and anxious people in Britain.
Trainee clinical psychologist, nurses and graduate mental health
workers will be among those recruited to deliver therapeutic services
to up to 250 patients per therapist per year.
CBT therapists are already operating in IAPT pilot sites across
England and Wales.
All new therapists will be trained in "evidence-based"
CBT, with no inclusion of other forms of psychological therapy,
reveal Department of Health implementation plans.
say other forms of counselling and therapy are as effective.
implementation plans have been sent to NHS trusts and strategic
health authorities charged with managing the recruitment of the
"High-intensity therapists” will work with people diagnosed
with severe depression and anxiety, the plans reveal. Trainees will
take a CBT course of postgraduate diploma level.
The high-intensity therapists will be trainee clinical psychologists
and psychotherapists, nurses, counsellors and graduate mental health
"Low-intensity workers” will work with people with low
to moderate mental health problems.
Their role will be to encourage the “self-management”
of a patient’s recovery. They will be expected to practice
"guided self-help” and computerised CBT.
Low-intensity workers will have as many as 45 patients at any one
time, seeing a total of 175 to 250 patients per year.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson: "These national guidelines [including
implementation plans] are an important step in securing access to
psychological therapies for everyone who needs them."
Johnson has promised that average waiting times for CBT will drop
from the current 18 months to "a few weeks”, as CBT rolls
out through the NHS.
government announcement on Tuesday came the same day as the publication
of a comprehensive meta-analysis reporting that SSRI antidepressants
are of no clinical benefit when compared with placebo in mild to
moderate depression, with only a slight benefit in severe depression
but only because of less response to placebo.
analysed all data from clinical trials submitted to the US Food
and Drug Administration for the licensing of four SSRIs —
Prozac, Efexor, Serzone, and Seroxat. The peer-reviewed study was
published in the Public
Library of Science medical journal
health problems account for nearly 40% of people on incapacity benefit.
of Health Implementation Plan - High-Intensity Therapies Workers
of Health Implementation Plan - Low-Intensity Therapies Workers
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