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Trust disability access

New mental health ‘talking therapies’ will help more people in Sussex 30 October 2012

sp_lib_jh0513_1New ways to help people with psychosis to manage their lives are being introduced in Sussex.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services, has won £60,000 of funding linked to a national initiative to implement new approaches using talking therapies for this group of patients.

Dr Kay Macdonald, Strategic Director of Therapies for Sussex Partnership, welcomed the launch of the project. She said, 'This is a fantastic opportunity to bring talking therapies to more people. These are interventions that we know people want and that are proven to be effective'.

Sussex Partnership will establish a pilot team in Sussex with increased capacity to deliver Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Interventions, and Art Therapy for people with psychosis who use the Trust’s community mental health services, together with staff training.

The pilot will run for two years. It is expected to demonstrate that people are able to improve their lives after receiving talking therapies. If so, the results will help make the case for more investment in these approaches for other teams in Sussex and beyond. 

The location of the pilot team will be confirmed within the next month and its work will then start immediately, building gradually through staff training. It will serve around 1,000 people with psychosis and many of these, depending on their preferences and clinical needs, will be offered talking therapies. GPs will be able to refer people to the pilot team through Sussex Partnership’s mental health Assessment and Treatment Service.

The funding announced today is linked to the national 'IAPT for Severe Mental Illness' programme. The NICE Guidelines for Schizophrenia (2009) propose that everyone with psychosis should be offered a psychological therapy, but historically services have found this hard to achieve, with only 51% of people with psychosis nationally having ever been offered psychological therapy. The new programme is designed to make these services available to more people.