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£170m boost to battle depression

Health secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled a £170m boost for people battling depression and anxiety.

The money will help expand mental health therapies over the next four years to ensure the treatments reach across the whole of the UK.

Up to six million adults suffer from depression or anxiety at any time, resulting in 91 million lost working days which cost the economy £12bn.

According to the government, the move will result in 900,000 more people being treated and an additional 3,600 trained therapists.

And as the programme rolls out, all GP practices will have access to non-drug treatments for mental health problems.

Mr 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.

"This 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."

Lord Richard Layard, co-author of the London School of Economics Depression Report, said: "This is great news and just what we have 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."

Department of Health

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Clinical Zone: Mental Health
Related story: Mental health care improving

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"It would be beneficial if counselling and other therapies were widely available, without the difficulty of waiting lists" - Denise Fedigan, Greater Manchester

"I do not believe this money will benefit the whole of the UK. I believe it is for England only" - Clive Micklewright, Powys, Mid Wales

"Could someone explain to me why our pct is getting rid of the established service we have had here for the past 10 years" - Name and address supplied