Britain must embrace psychological therapy for mental health problems

April 27, 2006

Britain must embrace psychological therapies on a large scale if we are to tackle our mental health problems effectively, argues a leading economist in this week's BMJ.

Depression and anxiety disorders cost the UK around £17bn in lost output. New drug treatments are now available to all, but psychological therapies are not. Yet the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends psychological therapy as a cost effective treatment.

So should the Treasury support psychological therapy?

Professor Richard Layard of the London School of Economics believes it should. He shows that the benefits of psychological therapy exceed the cost. "There is no net cost to the government because of savings on incapacity benefits and other NHS costs," he writes.

So, what scale of expansion is needed and how should it be organised?

To implement the NICE guidelines requires 10,000 more therapists, says Layard. The extra therapists should work in teams based in centres, but much of the therapy should be delivered to people near their homes, in general practices, job centres and workplaces.

He believes that training this number of therapists is feasible over a seven year period, and recommends that 250 of these psychological treatment centres should be set up over the next seven years.

"If this is well done, it could transform the lives of millions, at no net cost to the Exchequer," he concludes. An accompanying editorial argues that it is time we treated depression as the chronic disease that it is.
-end-


BMJ

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.