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Mental health services to focus on "talking therapies"

Eleven new innovative psychological therapy schemes are to be funded across the UK thanks to the new Health Minister Ivan Lewis.

He plans to provide £2.2m funds for services that can help individuals gain quick access to psychological support.

The services are designed to reduce the time that patients are ill and allow them to regain their independence and quickly return to work or find a new job.

MP Ivan Lewis said: "We know that mental health 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."

He says his plans "point the way to a radical overhaul of mental health services" with a greater focus on creating access to "talking therapies" which work torwards a "rapid and sustainable recovery".

Chief Executive of MIND Paul Farmer said: "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."

Department of Health

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"The medicalisation of life's problems has been the shame of psychiatry for over a century. People need to be heard more and 'treated' less. But be warned that 'talking' can go the same way with undue faith in particular brands of therapy. Already CBT is being unduly heralded as a panacea. I believe it is the relationship that offers most to clients who need to be heard, respected and taken seriously" - Mr K Sherrington, Bristol

"At last and I am so glad that so many men are coming forward to help others. I am a community nurse of 30 years and just set out on my own lifecoaching. I would like to remain within the NHS sharing my skills; however, our managers just can't see the benefit" - Sandra Paterson, Community Nurse at NHS Grampian Aberdeen

"CBT is the way forward without a doubt, from a lay and clinician's perspective" - Alison Chadbund, Walsall

"Yes I agree with Ivan Lewis in making these talking therapies more widely available and I hope it is extended to all other areas as soon as possible" - Keith Farrier, Surrey

"This is a very helpful step in the right direction as I have seen in two of my family members. More should be done to emphasise this therapy through the media. Thanks and good luck" - Stephen Wright, Lancs

"Not even a quarter of a step - we need to dramatically reduce prescription medications for antidepressants fast" - Jon Doug, England

"Yes I think it has been a long time coming (and needed)"  - Alan Lines, Lichfield

"Absolutely. There are far too many people with mental problems who are unable to hang on to their jobs because of depression, which is a very debilitating condition. The sooner everyone can get help from cCBT the better" - Margaret Stringfellow, Dorset

"Yes, I certainly believe that this sort of treatment can be of great benefit" - Name and address supplied

"Yes, but so many friends who are suffering mental health problems are having great difficulty in getting talking therapy in their PCT because the GP has simply not heard about the latest therapies and has continued to fall back on medication as the easier option. Please make sure that ALL staff below the commissioners are made fully aware of these other options as there is still great confusion over the difference between those therapies with NICE appraisal (TA 097) and those without. Many PCT staff do not seem to be aware of this" - Name and address supplied

"Yes, computerised CBT was a godsend for my depression, alternatives to being fobbed off with pills need to be available" - Name and address supplied

"Absolutely, it's long overdue. These types of conditions are easily treated with these innovative programmes. I am impressed with the computerised versions because of their ease and accessiblity" - Name and address supplied

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