The Welsh government has announced £65,000 extra funding to improve access to psychological therapies for people with mental health problems.
The cash, which will be shared by Welsh health boards, will be used to support delivery of therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy to people of all ages including armed forces veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We must ensure patients have real choices about all available treatment options”
The funding builds on previous work to train up NHS staff to offer psychological therapies to patients in Wales.
It was announced by health minister Mark Drakeford at a conference in Cardiff organised by Public Health Wales.
He said the government was committed to increasing the availability of psychological therapies and ensuring services were close to people’s homes.
He also emphasised the need to ensure healthcare workers had the right skills, knowledge and attitudes.
“In Wales we aim to have a psychologically-minded workforce which understands and supports people to manage their health better,” he said.
“This requires an approach that addresses the physical, social and psychological aspects of a person’s health,” said Mr Drake.
“We must ensure patients have real choices about all available treatment options and evidence-based interventions are accessible,” he added.
“Providing people with the skills and support to manage their own condition will help to prevent relapse and reduced the need for costly future interventions.”
Mr Drake said these principles were enshrined in the government’s Together for Mental Health strategy and ground-breaking mental health legislation in Wales.
Examples of work already undertaken include a scheme that saw more than 100 NHS staff trained to delivering psychological training in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, with participants now passing their skills on to their teams and other staff.