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...but Pulse campaign brings ray of hope

Leading ministers have thrown their weight behind a mass expansion in access to psychological therapies as Pulse this week took the 'Action on Depression' campaign to Parliament.

Pulse understands the departments of Health and Work and Pensions both support a national rollout of psychological treatment centres ­ and are now working to persuade the Treasury to provide the cash.

The Pulse meeting, attended by MPs, GPs and mental health experts, heard that arguments over the economic benefits of improving access to therapy would be key to securing funding from Gordon Brown.

Professor Paul Salkovskis, professor of clinical psychology and applied science at King's College London, said treatment at the proposed centres would cost £800 per patient ­ but would save £1,400 in benefits and raised tax revenue by getting people back to work.

'The savings from providing evidence-based therapy will exceed the cost of provision of such treatment,' he said.

Dr Sally Whittet, a GP in Stockwell, south London, who presented at the meeting, said: 'Current services may even make patients worse. The economic argument for CBT is a strong one to put to the Government.'

Pulse will be writing to the Chancellor to set out the case.

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