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Extra funding to treat depression

  • @oliver_wright

Nick Clegg will today announce £400 million of ring-fenced spending to help treat people with depression and anxiety.

Under plans to be outlined by the Government an extra 1.2 million people will be eligible for ‘talking’ therapies on the NHS over the next four years.

Talking therapies include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which doctors believe is as effective as taking anti-depressants at combating some types of mental illness.

CBT works by trying to identify the underlying causes of depression through either individual or group therapy and breaking them down into smaller parts which can be addressed. The coalition claims that nearly half those who will get the new treatment will be “cured” and many more will see a measurable improvement in their condition.

They claim that over for years the new strategy will lead to £700m in savings, in healthcare, tax and welfare gains.

One in four of people experience mental ill health over during their lives and one in six has a common mental illness at any one time.

The costs of mental health problems for the English economy have recently been estimated at a £105 billion, and the costs of treatment alone are expected to double in the next twenty years.

Speaking yesterday Nick Clegg said: “Mental health needs to be addressed with the same urgency as physical health. We need to end the stigma attached to mental illness, to set an example by talking about the issue openly and candidly and ensure everyone can access the support and information they need.”