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Phone-based CBT £3m pilot study

The effects of telephone and online-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) are to be the subject of a £3m Scottish government-funded pilot study.

GPs in the Western Isles, Shetland, Borders, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lothian regions will be able to refer patients to the telephone-based system.

They will then be able to call a dedicated NHS 24 number and be talked through a number of ways to help ease any mild anxiety and depression issues they are experiencing.

A team of qualified therapists and self-help coaches will be employed in the regions if the patient calling NHS 24 needs further professional help and support, and special CD-Roms will be made available to affected patients.

One-to-one self-help clinics, group sessions, workbooks and college courses are also being run to aid patients with their CBT and a website with self-help tips and other advice is being developed.

Scotland's minister for public health, Shona Robison, said: "Along with our partners in NHS boards across Scotland and at NHS 24, we have sought out new ways of helping people who experience anxiety and depression.

"This funding will deliver accessible, user friendly cognitive behavioural therapy, and put people more in control of their mental health."

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