Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
       Health and social care

Adults of working age who are experiencing more common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.  Referrals to the service can be made by an individual themselves, their GP and/or their employer. There are plans to extend the scope of the service to young people, older people and service veterans.


Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is an evidence based NHS service offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).  The service aims to give more people timely access to ‘talking therapies’ in order to support positive health and social inclusion outcomes, including retaining or accessing employment.  12 pilot sites in England currently have employment advisors working alongside therapists to help people remain in work or return to work as soon as possible. 


For more information, visit www.dwp.gov.uk/health-work-and-well-being/ourwork/   > choose ‘Our Work’ > select IAPT from menu. Contact details for services, where they are already live: www.iapt.nhs.uk or call NHS Choices: 0845 46 47. 


  • Because CBT helps people to retrain their way of thinking to help them cope with stressful situations, it can equip people with skills in problem-solving and resilience which may be transferable to the workplace and future stressful situations.
  • In order to be able to engage with high- and low-intensity CBT people may need a certain level of cognitive (thinking) skills already, plus literacy (reading) skills and some confidence in IT. People with low levels of literacy or who also have learning difficulties may not be able to use this service.
  • UK Online Centres (often in public libraries) provide access to free online facilities, but some people do report finding it uncomfortable to do something so personal in a public space. 

Information correct as of 01-May-2011

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