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Talking Treatments

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any measures are being considered to improve access to talking treatments for (a) black and minority ethnic groups, (b) refugees and asylum seekers, (c) people with learning disabilities and a mental health problem, (d) people in prison, (e) people with alcohol or other drug dependency problems, (f) older people, (g) children, (h) people with long-term physical health problems and (i) people in hospital. (112833)

The Government are committed to improving mental health services and this is why we support increasing the availability of evidence-based psychological therapies through our programme Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), which was launched in May 2006.

This programme will initially focus on adults of working age in order to establish the links between the provision of evidence-based psychological interventions and retaining and maintaining people in employment. We will also be addressing the benefit of extending these services to people of all ages as part of the regional psychological therapies programmes led by the Care Services Improvement Partnership, which will complement the two national improving access to psychological therapy (IAPT) demonstration sites.

The IAPT demonstration sites will provide evidence of the effectiveness of stepped improvements in access to psychological therapies and of the resultant benefits to people’s health and well-being, to the efficiency and effectiveness of mental health systems and to the economy as a whole. Building on these foundations over the longer term will be to the benefit of everyone who needs these therapies, whatever their age or circumstances.