Today Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt claimed ‘ we have a world-beating service for depression and the anxiety disorders that other countries are considering adopting, particularly Sweden’ [BBC One Andrew Marr Show] but he appears not to know that the IAPT service he cites has never been subjected to independent scrutiny and he is victim to its’ excellent marketing. From my own work as an Expert Witness to the Court I have found a recovery rate of just 10%, ‘IAPT the Need for Radical Reform’ (In submission) which also contains testimonies of those who have gone through the system, work on a smaller sample (n=65) is summarised in ‘Towards a Mental Health System that Works’ (2017) Routledge.
Tip of Iceberg Recover
I presented my findings ‘Reality Checking Psychological Services’, https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/93ed8696-b12e-44b0-a2bd-3f0646f62052 on the smaller sample at EABCT Conference in Stockholm on September 1st 2016. Internationally countries have not rushed to adopt the IAPT approach and are much more circumspect about the IAPT results than Mr Hunt. Unfortunately in politics the bar for ‘evidence’ is set low, with evidence outstripped by enthusiasm. On October 10th 2017 Mr Hunt announced £15 million to train 1 million people in Mental Health First Aid with 1 trained member of staff in every secondary school by 2020. He argued plausibly on You Tube that half of emotional problems are there before age 14 and if there is some early input problems could be prevented. Nice idea, but the evidence on this is lacking, arguably the monies might be better spent on what we know does work, CBT treatment with fidelity to an evidence based protocol. Whether or not, he anticipated the training would be online with volunteers who could thereby become less stressed, more ‘resilient’ and help others!
Dr Mike Scott