Government extends NHS psychological therapy programme

The coalition government is extending the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme set up by Labour.

A four-year action plan launched today promises a further £400 million in NHS psychological therapies in England..

Ministers say this will result in an additional 1.2 million people being referred to NHS psychological therapists, of which 500,00 more people will be helped to “move to recovery”.

The IAPT service will cover around 60% of the population by next month, states “Talking therapies: A four-year plan of action”, launched by Paul Burstow, the care services minister.

Children will also now be able to be referred to therapists.

The four-year plan is part of the government’s “No Health Without Mental Health” strategy released today which emphasises early intervention and tackling the underlying causes of mental ill-health.

In addition, the government will provide up to £7.2 million to treat war veterans with mental health problems.

The Department of Health will also work in partnership with the Time to Change charity to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.

A new cross-government suicide prevention strategy will also be launched in the spring.

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