Record numbers of depression sufferers receiving psychological help – Swinson

Record numbers of depression suffers are receiving treatment under the ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) programme – according to figures obtained by Jo Swinson.

The figures show:

  • The number of patients receiving treatment rose to 89,775 during the quarter June-September 2010, up from 17,401 in October-December 2008 – the first quarter for which statistics were available
  • Since the programme began, 3,660 new therapy workers are now in place.

On Wednesday, the Government also unveiled its new Mental Health Strategy, including the allocation of around £400m extra funding for psychological therapies over the next four years.

The investment is backed up by an economic analysis by Professor Richard Layard of the London School of Economics – who estimated psychological therapies more than pay for themselves by helping people get off incapacity benefit and back into work.

Commenting, Jo said:

“If we care about people’s happiness and wellbeing, we need to invest in psychological therapies. Depression can be a terrible condition to suffer and we need to do more to treat and prevent it.

“Psychological therapies save the taxpayer money. In terms of lost hours alone, the cost of depression to the UK economy was £9.2bn pounds in 2009.

“The Coalition made the right decision to maintain investment in psychological therapies and is right to allocate even more funding over the coming years. 3,660 new therapists is an excellent improvement and is an achievement that should be built on.”

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