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LSE counselling report launched in parliament

More funding directed towards counselling and psychotherapy services in the UK could help curb escalating costs in public and mental health and ensure the country’s future wellbeing.

This is the consensus of a new, independent report by the London School of Economics and Political Science, to be launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 October.

Commissioned by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the report looks at the economic benefits of therapy in the wake of increasing healthcare costs, as well as ongoing constraints on health spending.

The parliamentary reception, hosted by Charles Walker MP, is an opportunity to hear key speakers comment on the evidence and debate the issue.

Dr Mike Shooter, BACP President says:

"At BACP we are committed to investigating the economic benefits of therapy as a preventative intervention to improve public health. Psychological therapies are an essential tool in the development and repair of resilience and wellbeing. We have commissioned this review to look into the cost-effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy, as well as to emphasise how these therapies can be incorporated into strategic planning for health and social care."

Professor Martin Knapp, Director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit and Professor of Social Policy at LSE, who authored the BACP commissioned report, says:

"A therapeutic treatment that improves health will often have economic benefits. Partly, this is because healthier individuals make fewer demands on the health care system, and partly because healthier individuals are economically more productive, either through paid work or through their non-work activities such as caring for someone else, volunteering or studying."

It is intended that the policy paper will provide an evidence-informed perspective to demonstrate the contribution of counselling and psychotherapy to improving public health across all age ranges and across a range of physical and mental health conditions.

Also speaking at the reception will be Gregor Henderson, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, who says:

"This is a very welcome report and highlights the important contributions that counselling and psychotherapy make to improving the public's mental health. Good mental health is an essential part of our overall health and the new public health system has the opportunity for ensuring that we give equal attention to mental health as we do physical health."

Notes to editors

For all media enquiries contact Ruth Clowes, BACP Media and Communications Officer, on 01455 883 342, or email media@bacp.co.uk.

Professor Martin Knapp is the Director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit at LSE. Martin’s research in recent years has mainly been in the areas of mental health, dementia, autism and long-term care. Most of this work has had a particular focus on economic issues.

October 14 2013