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Health chiefs say mental health help is available

Sue Robins - Director of Operational Delivery for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group.
Sue Robins - Director of Operational Delivery for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group.

HEALTH CHIEFS in Leeds have insisted that help is available for people in the city who suffer from anxiety and depression.

Members of Leeds City Council’s health scrutiny committee recently expressed concerns over mental health services and claimed they want to see more evidence of what is being done to combat “more serious” conditions.

As reported, councillors issued the warning after a senior local doctor told them he was “deeply concerned” about the state of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) provision in Leeds. A report, which went before the committee, included details of how a service user was helped to overcome a dog phobia but councillors said they wanted to see how those with more serious conditions – including acute anxiety and depression – were being supported.

Responding to the claims Sue Robins, director of operational delivery for the Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said in a statement: “We wanted to ensure people in Leeds are not unduly worried about support available to them or their loved ones should they experience mental ill health.

“It is important people understand the difference between IAPT for people experiencing low levels of mental ill health and services designed to support people with more severe experiences of mental ill health.

“IAPT services, also known as talking therapies, provide evidence-based psychological treatments to help people who are stressed, experiencing low mood (depressed) or are very nervous (anxious). For example this could be people with phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder or panic disorders.

“The CCG and Leeds City Council invest in a range of mental health services to support people with differing types of mental health problems.

“IAPT services sit within a wider system of care, commissioned by the CCG, with a substantial investment in line with Mental Health Investment Standards set by NHS England.”

“For example, Touchstone Community Support Team work with people who have complex mental health support needs.

"We commission Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust community mental health teams who provide secondary mental health treatment and support for people with more complex mental health needs.”

The CCG recommends visiting www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk to anyone who wants to find out more about therapies available to them.