ENGLAND: England’s Mental Health Experiment: No-Cost Talk Therapy

August 04, 2017
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The New York Times

England is aiming to transform its mental health care system by providing open-ended access to free talk therapy across the country. The program consists of a one-hour evaluation phone call with a psychological well-being practitioner to determine what type of therapy best fits the patient’s needs, followed by ongoing sessions that are conducted online, over the phone, or in person. Started in 2008, the program has been funded through three different governments. Data collected through the program are being used to monitor and evaluate access to services and treatment effectiveness. According to the most recent data, nearly a million people a year are screened for mental health issues and a third of adults have recently received mental health treatment through the program. “It’s not just that they’re enhancing access to care, but that they’re being accountable for the care that’s delivered,” said Chief Executive of the Canadian Psychological Association Karen Cohen. Mental health experts believe that the program has also helped to reduce the negative bias associated with mental health issues and encouraged more people to seek help. “You now actually hear young people say, ‘I might go and get some therapy for this,’” said Dr. Tim Kendall, National Health Service clinical director for mental health. “You’d never, ever hear people in this country say that out in public before.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about mental health in England.

Planning and Implementing:  Policy and Legislation
Strategies:  Effective Care/Treatment, Treatment, Health Systems Change