Letter - Mainstream mental health is the answer

Dear Editor

In the interests of balance, I would just like to concur with Dr Stephen Harris's view about mainstreaming mental healthcare made in his reply to a letter.

There is no single therapy or intervention that is going to work for everyone, since we are not the same as the computers at which we sit.

Bespoke solutions will always be required. 'The answer' being any form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) - which is now not quite the darling it was even a year ago in terms of some recent analyses of effect duration - and/or SSRIs/ECT (now re-asserting their potential) is never going to fly on its lonesome.

Of course, GPs do not have to drop other commitments. If they were skilled in dealing with the brain-mind elements of all their work, they would deliver better outcomes across all disease areas. CBT, like other interventions, can be offered within currently brief consultations. Computerised CBT can bring much-needed capacity, but, according to the work of Professor Tony Hale in Canterbury, still requires, CBT-trained people to support its use.

In addition to 'Beating the Blues', people might also like to know about Media Innovations' computerised CBT product 'Overcoming Depression'. It is founded on the same CBT methodologies as 'Beating the Blues' and is the work of Dr Chris Williams. It delivers well on the ground, even if it is not currently recommended by NICE.

Make up your own minds. I still keep breathing, even without a guideline.

Dr Chris Manning, Chief executive officer, Primhe, Mental Health Taskforce.

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