Victims of domestic violence and members of their family are eligible to receive all National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence-approved (NICE) psychological therapies, including guided self-help, counselling, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural activation and exercise. Counselling is one of the modalities of psychological intervention approved by NICE for treating depression and anxiety disorders.
We are increasing the availability of these services in primary care through the improving access to psychological therapies programme (IAPT). IAPT aims to help primary care trusts (PCTs) implement NICE guidelines and improve access to psychological therapies in England for people with depression or anxiety disorders. It is supported by a significant national investment rising to £173 million by 2010-11. Our plan is to have trained 3,600 more therapists who will help to provide 900,000 more people with access to psychological therapies by 2010-11.
In addition, 11 pathfinder PCTs are now examining the needs of specific groups, including children and young people, new mothers, older people, black and minority ethnic groups, offenders, people with long- term conditions and those with medically unexplained symptoms, and to see how access to a range of therapies for these groups could be further improved.
The department has provided practical guidance and training to healthcare professionals working with service users who may have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse. The domestic abuse handbook and cd-rom, Responding to Domestic Abuse: A Handbook For Health Professionals, which was published in December 2005, provides advice on how health services can respond to victims of domestic abuse.
A copy of the handbook has already been placed in the Library.