The aim of the programme is to reduce waiting times for the service, which has been produced from evidence independently reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
More PCTs will join the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme as further money comes on stream in the next two years – a total of £103m in 2009-10 rising to £173m in 2010-11.
Care services minister Ivan Lewis said: ‘This initiative will transform the way the NHS helps people with depression and anxiety disorders. It will help to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems.
‘I believe it is one of the most important advances for NHS services in a generation.’