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Nationwide talking therapy programme begins

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Talking therapies are set to be rolled out across 32 PCTs in a bid to improve the nation’s mental health.
Each PCT will receive a share of £33m funds which will help create a new workforce offering supervised high and low intensive therapy.

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.’
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Readers' comments (1)

  • For those of us with the serious neurological illness myalgic encephalomyelitis, who are scandalously 'treated' only by psychiatric means, this money poured into talking therapies will serve to add to our suffering. There has never been any government money spent on biomedical research or treatment of M.E. All funding has gone to psychiatrists. Medical staff, including nurses, are being erroneously trained to believe that we have a somatisation disorder.This is not the case with any other neurological illness. The findings in America that we have viral, heart and parasitic conditions are being totally ignored in the UK. All we are offered here are cognitive behaviour therapy and graded exercise, both of which have been proven to make M.E. worse. Insisting that we increase our activity levels without addressing the underlying physical problems is dangerous and has led to deaths. Our illness has been carefully hidden under the umbrella term 'chronic fatigue' which has been widened to include anyone feeling tired from whatever cause, and the researchers in this country trying to develop a blood test for M.E. have been deliberately and repeatedly refused funding.

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