Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide, affecting approximately 280 million people globally (WHO). Depression is also something that affects many adults in the UK, with ONS data finding an estimated one in five adults reporting some form of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic (more than double that observed before the pandemic).
The National Health Service’s (NHS) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme exists to make access to cognitive and behavioural based talking therapies, including guided self-help, for depression and anxiety related disorders equally available for all. It is a national mental health treatment programme that lets people refer themselves for care in addition to GP referral.
Unfortunately, even though IAPT should make it easier for everyone to get help with difficulties in their mental health, this may not be happening.