The government is planning to launch a pilot programme to test
the effectiveness of psychological therapies for people with
depression, Community Care has learned, writes
The pilots, likely to be announced in the autumn, will study
whether talking therapies, and particularly cognitive behavioural
therapy, improve the wellbeing of people with less severe mental
health problems and help them get back to work.
Department of Health officials believe the Treasury could be
persuaded to support a national therapy programme if its economic
value can be proved.
A report prepared for the Prime Minister’s strategy unit
in December by economist Richard Layard recommended that
“clients should have the choice of evidence-based
psychological therapy if they want it” within five years.
He suggested training 5,000 extra psychological therapists and
doubling training places for clinical psychologists and
But with psychologists and psychiatrists concentrating their
efforts on those with more acute needs and a mass training
programme not yet in place, the pilots will help to establish who
is in the best position to deliver the therapy.
A DH spokesperson said a statement about talking therapies would
be made in the autumn but refused to comment further.