A computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) programme will be up and running across Scotland by the end of the year.
The SNP Government’s mental health strategy commits to develop more accessible psychological therapy self-help resources and support the national rollout of cCBT with NHS 24 by 2018.
Following a successful pilots, the programme is being rolled out to all Scottish health boards, supported by Technology Enabled Care funding. cCBT services have been proven to:
• improve patient access to psychological therapies • provide additional treatment choice and early intervention • act as a first choice treatment for those with mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety
Figures published last week show further increases in both psychological therapies and the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) workforce. Under the SNP Government the psychological therapies workforce has increased by 61% and the CAMHS workforce by 68%, with the number of CAMHS psychologists having doubled.
Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said:
“I’m really pleased to at the progress being made on cCBT, which is something we’ve committed to in our mental health strategy. I have been clear that giving people easy access to the treatment they need in a timely and efficient manner is an absolute priority for this SNP Government. We know that cCBT is clinically and cost effective, is recommended by clinical guidelines and access is almost instant, with minimal delays between referral and treatment.”
Patricia Gibson MP added:
“I have no doubt that cCBT will be invaluable in continuing to reduce mental health waiting times and ensure early treatment for vulnerable patients. SNP Ministers are working with health boards to make sure that happens right across Scotland, including here in Ayrshire. Meanwhile the Mental Health Access Improvement Support Team is working in partnership with health boards to deliver sustained improvements and ensure services are designed and delivered in the most effective and efficient way.”
Anne Joiner, Beating the Blues Project Co-ordinator, NHS Tayside said:
“Working within a role on the cCBT service, every day is different, there is a great sense of achievement and job satisfaction when you are helping and supporting patients overcome their difficulties. A great benefit to online cCBT is it can be accessed almost immediately, therefore possibly alleviating patients’ mental health state becoming worse.”
For the past four years NHS 24 through the Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare has hosted the "cCBT National Implementation Team" who are responsible for rolling out cCBT across the 14 territorial Health Boards in Scotland. cCBT in Scotland is now being delivered at scale, supported by significant levels of clinical engagement.