£400m funding for psychological therapies

£400m will be invested over the next four years to improve access to psychological therapies in England, the government has announced.

The investment up to March 2015 will ensure alll those who need evidence-based psychological therapies have access to them, the government said. At present around 60% of people can access such therapies, care services minister Paul Burstow said.

The government will also seek to expand provision of psychological therapies for children and young people, older people and their carers, people with long-term physical health problems and those with mental illness. The commitment to expand provision of psychological therapies is made in No health without mental health, a cross-government mental health strategy.

Mr Burstow told GP that the government would work with the RCGP and Royal College of Psychiatrists to develop new joint commissioning guidance for mental health services. This will include advice and support for consortia to commission effective mental health services that are accessible to all, including the most disadvantaged and excluded.

The strategy also sets out the outcomes target that the NHS Commissioning Board could use to support mental health commissioning guidance for GP consortia. These include public health targets, such as healthy life expectancy, as well as specific targets for mental health, such as suicide rate and mortality rate among those with mental illness.

The government will also develop a Mental Health Strategy Ministerial Advisory Group, which will include people with mental health problems as well as carers of people with mental health problems.

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