The Welsh Government has pledged an extra £650,000 worth of funding to help improve access to psychological therapies for people with mental health problems.
The funding will be used to help train more NHS staff to deliver evidence-based psychological therapies to patients in Wales, including family therapy interventions to help reduce the risk of relapse in people with psychosis, and mindfulness therapy to prevent relapse in people with depression.
The move comes as mental health leads warned the Government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in England is overstretched and under-resourced.
Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford announced the funding boost at a Public Health Wales conference held in Cardiff today.
Professor Drakeford said: ‘In Wales, we aim to have a psychologically-minded workforce which understands and supports people to manage their health better. This requires an approach that addresses the physical, social and psychological aspects of a person’s health.’
He added: ‘We must ensure patients have real choices about all available treatment options and evidence-based interventions are accessible. Providing people with the skills and support to manage their condition will help to prevent relapse and reduce the need for costly future interventions.
‘This is preferable for people experiencing mental illness and is the prudent way forward for the NHS, not least in these times of austerity.’