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LSE Depression Report urges choice of psychological therapy for all

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The LSE's Depression Report, published on Monday 19 June, urges that psychological therapy should be made available to all people suffering from depression, chronic anxiety and schizophrenia. This is what the guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) prescribe, but they are not currently being implemented because the therapy services are not there.

According to the authors of the report, the Centre for Economic Performance's Mental Health Policy Group, led by Lord Professor Richard Layard, there should be a proper psychological therapy service in every part of the country by 2013. Such a service would pay for itself in the reduced expenditure on incapacity benefits from people being able to go back to work.

The report reveals the following striking facts:

  • There are more mentally ill people on incapacity benefits than the total number of unemployed people on benefit
  • One in six of all people suffer from depression or chronic anxiety, which affects one in three of all families
  • Only a quarter of those who are ill are receiving any treatment - in most cases medication
  • Modern evidence-based psychological therapy is as effective as medication and is preferred by the majority of patients
  • In most areas, waiting lists are over nine months, if therapy is available at all
  • A course of therapy costs £750 and pays for itself in money saved on incapacity benefits and lost tax receipts
  • We can therefore provide a service in every area at no net cost. This would require 10,000 therapists and 250 local services, with 40 new services opened each year till 2013. With proper leadership from the centre and protected funding, this is totally feasible.

The report has the support of the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as leading mental health charities - Mind, Rethink, Sane, the Mental Health Foundation and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

The chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Professor Mayur Lakhani, said: 'GPs tell me all the time just how hard it is to get talking therapies for their patients. I welcome this important proposal, which, if implemented, could transform the care of thousands of patients with anxiety and depression.'

Click here to download a copy of the full report| (PDF)

Ends

Contact:

Contact Romesh Vaitilingam on 07768 661095 (email: romesh@compuserve.co| ); or Helen Durrant at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) on 020 7955 7395 (email: h.durrant@lse.ac.uk|).

Lord Layard's telephone numbers are: work: 020 7955 7048; mobile: 07790 906206; home: 020 8341 7771.

To speak to representatives of the mental health charities, contact Andy Bell, director of communications at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health on 07810 503638.

Notes for editors

The report is published by the Mental Health Policy Group of the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at LSE. The group includes nine distinguished academics and practitioners, including Lord Layard (the chair), Professor David Clark and Baroness Meacher, all of whom are available for interview.

Press cuttings

South Wales Echo
Consultant wins blue chips with radical vision for capitalism (5 Jan 06)
Article refers to Richard Layard's report on mental health, that 'identified improving mental health as a priority for Britain'.
http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0300business/0100news/tm_headline=|
consultant--wins-blue-chips-with-radical-vision-for-capitalism-%26|
method=full%26objectid=18393382%26siteid=50082-name_page.html| 

The Guardian
Response. This quick fix is worth the risk (6 July 06)
The debate sparked by Professor Richard Layard's proposal - that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could pay for itself by reducing the numbers of people on incapacity benefit - is in danger of losing its way. This is because the effectiveness of CBT in treating depression is being linked to the assumption that it will also get people back to work - this link is unproven. 

The Wall Street Journal
Money really can't buy happiness, studies show (5 July 06)
Richard Layard of the London School of Economics says that happiness in now way depends on personal wealth.

Miami Herald
You can't buy happiness (4 July 06)
Studies show that once personal wealth exceeds about $12,000 a year, more money produces virtually no increase in life satisfaction. In part, said Richard Layard of the London School of Economics, who has studied the phenomenon closely, people feel wealthy by comparing themselves with others. When incomes rise across a nation, people's relative status does not change. 

Also in Hamilton Spectator, Canada 

The Washington Post
Science Confirms: You Really Can't Buy Happiness (3 July 06)
When it comes to money, giving may buy a lot more happiness than getting. In part, said Richard Layard of the London School of Economics, who has studied the phenomenon closely, people feel wealthy by comparing themselves with others.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/02/AR2006070200733.html|

The Guardian
A little more conversation (30 June 06)
The Depression Report released by professor Richard Layard of LSE points out that mental illness in the UK has become the number one social problem, even more worrying than unemployment. 

The Western Mail (20 June)
Call for psychotherapy to be available on the NHS (23 June)
Lord Layard of the London School of Economics has urged the Government to employ more psychotherapists to help people with mental health problems.

The Guardian
Spreading a little happiness (20 June)
Are mental health drop-in centres, where the public discuss their psychological problems with professionals, the solution to tackling Britain's rising tide of misery, as this week's Layard report says? The Depression Report, published this week and co-authored by Layard, an LSE professor, became the latest chapter in what is now known as the "happiness agenda" when it suggested that everyone who needs it should have access to therapy on the NHS. 

Talking up the benefits of therapy (20 June)
Richard Layard has done us all a great service in putting centre stage our mental welfare, highlighting the devastating extent of depression and signposting psychotherapy as a means of cure. But in advocating cognitive behavioural therapy as the sole solution to this problem, he tends to promote an overly monochromatic model for dealing with a complex condition. 

City A.M
As a nation we've grown richer - but are we happier? (20 June)
Professor Richard Layard, chairman of the Mental Health Policy Group of the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, is quoted to say in his book Happiness - Lessons From A New Science that Britons as a nation have grown richer but by no means happier.

The Press & Journal
Psychotherapy (20 June)
Professor Richard Layard of the London School of Economics has said that investing in psychotherapists to help people with mental health problems would cut the cost of unemployment.

Medindia
Depression could quickly grow into UK's biggest problem (19 June)
Depression, a disease is fast becoming a bane in the health policy of Britain. The Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics is publishing the 'The Depression Report', which is an account that has resulted due to the dire consequences of ignoring the epidemic.
http://www.medindia.net/news/view_news_main.asp?x=11468| 

The Times
Funding needed (19 June)
A study headed by Professor Emeritus Richard Layard of the London School of Economics has found that there are more mentally ill people claiming incapacity benefit than there are people with unemployment benefits. The report urges the government to invest money into the treatment of those people.

The Herald
'More therapists needed' to eradicate joblessness' (19 June)
Long-term unemployment would be more quickly eradicated if the government employed more psychotherapists, according to academics at the London School of Economics. 

Life Style Extra
Report calls for more mental health treatment (19 June)
There are more mentally ill people claiming incapacity benefit than unemployed people on the dole, it was revealed today. The Depression Report from the London School of Economics calls on the government to fund a £600m-a-year project to treat sufferers over the internet, as well as using group therapy and one-to-one meetings instead of more expensive drugs.
http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?story=TR1926283L&|
news_headline=report_calls_for_more_mental_health_treatment| 

24 dash.com
Expansion of psychiatric services 'could cut unemployment' (19 June)
The Government was today urged to employ more psychotherapists to help people with mental health problems get back to work. Professor Lord Layard, who carried out a survey for the London School of Economics, said an expansion of psychiatric services would pay for itself by cutting the cost of unemployment. 

BBC Radio 4: Today Programme
Professor Richard Layard was interviewed this morning (19 June) on the LSE Depression Report, published today which urges that psychological therapy should be made available to all people suffering from depression, chronic anxiety and schizophrenia.

BBC News website
Therapy could 'cut benefits bill' (19 June)
The UK incapacity benefit bill could be cut by spending more on psychotherapy, a group of economists says. The team from the London School of Economics says expanding therapy services would even pay for itself. The Depression Report, published on Monday, says a course of psychotherapy costs £750 - the same as a month's incapacity benefit and lost tax.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5093694.stm| 

The Guardian
Positive thinking (19 June)
Today a sensible and practical call for action is launched, led by London School of Economics Professor Richard Layard. In the Depression Report, Prof Layard and colleagues set out the scale of the mental health problem in this country and suggest that most people with mental illness should be offered the option of psychological therapy. 

Depression and schizophrenia 'should be treated with therapy' (19 June)
Psychological therapy should be offered to every person in the country with depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, says a report from an influential group of health professionals published today. Only one in four people with these common mental illnesses receives any treatment, and often they are given drugs, says the mental health policy group of the centre for economic performance at the London School of Economics. 

Financial Times
Talking therapies boosted by study (19 June)
The introduction of "talking therapies" rather than just drugs to deal with depression and chronic anxiety would pay for itself by reduced expenditure on incapacity benefits, according to a study from the London School of Economics. A course of treatment costs about £750 and by 2013 it should be possible to train 10,000 extra therapists to provide a service everywhere, the group led by Professor Richard Layard, a former government adviser, said.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1f22c146-ff30-11da-84f3-0000779e2340.html| 

In the news.co.uk
Report calls for nationwide psychotherapy (19 June)
Psychological treatment and therapy should be made available to all UK residents suffering from depression, chronic anxiety or schizophrenia, a new report claims. The London School of Economics (LSE) Depression Report, created in partnership with the Centre for Economic Performance's mental health policy group, believes that dedicated psychological services should be extended to the entire country.
http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/news/finance/|
report-calls-nationwide-psychotherapy-$442798.htm| 

The Observer
Depression is the modern scourge. But we can cure it (18 June)
Tomorrow, the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics publishes 'The Depression Report', an account of the dire consequences of ignoring the epidemic. Professor Layard's research shows that savings would be made if the one million sufferers of mental illness currently claiming incapacity benefit, at a cost of £750 each per month, were targeted with the right treatment. 

Depression, a disease that we must defeat (18 June)
Britain spends peanuts on an illness that affects millions. Yet the solution is within our grasp. Comment by Richard Layard, chairman of the Mental Health Policy Group of the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance. 

Financial Times
Mental illness 'biggest problem'
Three-quarters of the 6m people suffering from depression fail to receive treatment because of a shortage of qualified therapists, according to a report by Lord Professor Layard who called on the government to expedite funding to treat a "great submerged problem". 

The Guardian
It is not fanciful to make the pursuit of happiness a political imperative (16 June)
The prescription laid out by Richard Layard for the psychiatric treatment of depression could change millions of lives. Causes and cures for unhappiness can be quantified. That is what turned Richard Layard, the distinguished economist, to look again at a life spent finding ways to generate more money, only to discover that multiples of growth in GDP had delivered no improvement in happiness. 

posted 19 June 2006

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