Thousands of new mental health therapist jobs will be created to help deal with increasing depression and anxiety disorders in the UK.
Health secretary Alan Johnson has announced an extra 3,600 psychological therapists will be trained as part of a £170m NHS project aimed at improving access to such therapies.
About one in six UK adults has a common mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety disorders, and an estimated 91 million working days a year are lost to mental illness.
The report, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, out today, states the investment will help 25,000 people with mental health problems back into work over the next three years – therefore reducing the amount of sick pay and benefits claimants.
Health minister Ivan Lewis said: “For many people, prescribing medication is a successful treatment, but psychological therapies have proved to be as effective as drugs in tackling these common mental health problems and are often more effective in the longer term.”
By 2010-11, the NHS will spend £170m per year on psychological therapies, with more than £30m in 2008-09 and more than £100m in 2009-10.