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Reasons to be cheerful?

It seems nothing ever changes, or not in the world of mental health at any rate. A report published this week on talking therapy had an oddly familiar ring to it, echoing the dismal findings of Pulse's own investigation into depression services. But while waits for therapy still stretch out for months and GPs continue to pick up the pieces, there are now grounds for optimism.

When Pulse launched the Action on Depression campaign last March, demanding a limit to waiting times and 10,000 extra therapists, the prospect of success seemed remote. But with the support of politicians, mental health charities and a massive chorus of GPs, real progress now seems to be in sight.

Action at last

The Government finally appears ready to take action. The Department of Health's release of early pilot results on talking therapies is highly significant. The Treasury has admitted the pilots will be critical to its decision on whether to fund a mass expansion of therapy – and it now seems inconceivable that money will not be forthcoming.

But a note of caution. The Government has, all along, seen provision of therapy through the lens of economic expediency, as a means of fast-tracking the chronically ill back to work.

There's a risk it will restrict new services to patients of working age – leaving children and the elderly with the same old story.

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