New NHS psychotherapeutic training scheme announced

A new training scheme by Health Education England (HEE), which will span over three years and will support sixty trainee psychotherapeutic counsellors to help the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services expand their access to a range of quality, evidence based psychological therapies.

The pilot scheme will offer a choice to adults with depression and other mental health issues on their treatment and will be part of a wider programme to offer similar services to a further 380,000 adults with mental health problems by 2023/24.

1.5 million people used an NHS mental health service

Fiona Ballantine Dykes, Chief Professional Standards Officer and Deputy Chief Executive - British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said, 'this is a landmark moment in how counselling and psychotherapy is viewed by the NHS and in the plans to expand the adult IAPT workforce.'

“The training course is a fantastic pathway and package of training that means counsellors will be able to enter the NHS much earlier in their careers. It really bridges a gap between achieving core counselling qualifications and paid employment for the NHS. It aligns with our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion as well as with our campaign for equal status and paid employment.

Mental health in the UK workforce costs employers nearly £35 bn a year, with £10.6 bn being lost in sick absence and a further £21.2 bn in reduced productivity when at work.

Nearly 1.5 million people were in touch with an NHS mental health service up until July this year, the majority of these being adults.

Adrian Whittington, National Lead for Psychological Professions, Health Education England added, “we are committed to all IAPT services offering a choice of therapies and this new pilot helps make this choice a reality for the public. The project will establish a new training path for the psychological professions, providing all of the training needed to work as a psychotherapeutic counsellor in IAPT services, fully funded by the NHS. This adds another fully funded route into work as a psychological professional, making this a more accessible career path.”.

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NHE May/June 2024

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