Mental Health Learning Report

All of this information was sourced from the slides created by the Vita Health Group and which were presented during a Webinar Open Day on Mental Health and Long-Term Conditions

Mental Health has become a more prevalent topic as awareness has increased. One of the services available to people who are/may be suffering from a mental health illness is called IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) IAPT can provide the following evidence based treatments for people with:

  • Depression and anxiety disorders,
  • Comorbid long-term physical health conditions (LTCs)
  • Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) (when integrated with physical healthcare pathways)

IAPT services are characherised by these key principles:

  • Evidence-based psychological therapies at the appropriate dose
  • Correctly trained and monitored staff
  • Routine checks to monitor outcomes
  • Stepped-care model to deliver services

Long-term conditions (LTC) that can have an affect on mental health can include, but are not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes Type 1 & 2
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Persistent Pain
  • Long Covid
  • Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS)

In 2012, it was reported (Naylor et al. 2012) that:

  • 20% of the population of England (approximately 10.2 million people) have a mental health problem
  • 30% of the population of England (approximately 15.4 million people) have a long-term health condition
  • 46% of the people with a mental health problem have a long-term condition (approximately 4.6 million people)
  • 30% of people with a long-term condition have a mental health problem (approximately 4.6 million people)
  • Self-Management can be improved through the Treatment and Recognition of Depression and Anxiety
  • Tailored CBT packages delivered by CBT-trained respiratory nurses can reduce anxiety in COPD, improving self management and reducing exacerbations and unnecessary admissions (NICE 2009)
  • CBT-based interventions can improve treatment adherence, psychosocial adjustment, coping skills and quality of life for people with co-morbid long-term conditions, as well as reducing use of health care services (Thompson et al 2011) (Spurgeon et al 2005)
  • Including a psychological component in a breathlessness clinic for COPD in Hillingdon Hospital led to 1.17 fewer A&E presentations and 1.93 fewer hospital bed days per person in the six months after intervention (Howard et al 2010). This translated into saving of £837 per person – around four times the upfront cost.

Due to the above mentioned statistics, I can conclude that getting help from the appropriate health care professional and service not only can drastically improve the health of an individual but can also lead to reduced costs and stress on emergency services.

Physical and Mental illnesses co-exist and can influence each other (Vita Health Group)

Environmental factors, subjective experiences and human biologics can cause people to suffer from mental health conditions differently (Vita Health Group)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help with increasing the quality.