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Sunday 23rd October 2016

NHS tackling ‘the last taboo’ and helping people back to work

11th December 2009

Calling mental illness ‘the last taboo’, Alastair Campbell, the journalist, broadcaster and author, spoke about his own experiences of breakdown and depression to an audience of over 500 mental health professionals at ‘The Way Through’ conference on December 1 in Bolton.  Many of the audience are part of a new cohort of NHS staff being trained in psychological therapies to improve people’s access to mental health support in the North West over the next two years – particularly important in view of the potential rise in ‘recession depression’. ‘You’re very important people at a very important moment,’ he said.

Through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, the NHS is developing effective services for the treatment of people with depression and anxiety disorders. By helping people to recover, it supports people to stay in or return to work and to get on with their lives.  Alistair Campbell noted how important to his recovery were the support of his family and friends as well as his GP and psychiatrist and that IPAT is essential for people who don’t have such support.

Mike Farrar, chief executive of NHS North West which is overseeing the programme in the region, says: ‘Mental health in the broadest terms and IAPT in particular is a fundamental priority for us in the North West. Even though funding is very tight, we are committed to fully implementing this programme - when we have to look at every pound we spend we are confident that we have the evidence and outcomes from this programme that can pass the toughest of tests.’

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