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CBT should become first-line

From Dr C Goldsmith


I applaud your access to psychological therapies campaign.

Sadly, once again Patsy Hewitt and the short-termism of today's Government has let down not only the 2.9 million people with depression in the UK, but the GPs and mental health workers who are responsible for their care.

The beneficial effects to the economy far outweigh the paltry sum that would be required for a nationwide roll-out of CBT. In a recent parliamentary debate the Depression Alliance is quoted: 'Those suffering from depression would often benefit from access to complementary therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy.'

CBT is no longer a complementary therapy, it should be first-line for all with mild-moderate depression.

The fact that the Treasury wants further evidence of the cost-effectiveness of CBT is laughable, shortsighted and frankly irresponsible.

Herceptin roll-out would cost about £100 million a year, full CBT access £8 million a year, money that the Exchequer would get back in reduced incapacity and prescribing costs.

I wonder when we will start seeing depressed patients appearing in the media complaning about lack of mental health services ­ that seems to be the only approach this Government responds to.

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