‘England’s Mental Health Experiment’: a North American viewpoint

A recent article in The New York Times has shone a spotlight on the NHS England Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Since its beginning in 2008, the national IAPT programme has transformed the treatment available for adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties, and now offers counselling, CBT and courses to over 900,000 people each year. The article hails the programme as ‘the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses’, and features case studies of two people whose lives have been transformed by accessing talking therapy programmes through the NHS.

As the largest provider of NHS-funded talking therapies in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, we at Oasis-Talk are delighted to see the IAPT programme gaining international recognition. We believe that access to psychological therapies should be available to all who need it, regardless of circumstance. In the future we hope to see many other countries follow England’s example by implementing evidence based psychological therapy services freely available to all who would benefit.

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