50.8% of treatment for anxiety and depression ended in a patient’s recovery in 2017-18.

This is the first financial year where the recovery rate has passed 50%. This is a great milestone for the NHS. But it’s important we understand what these figures mean, and what the term ‘recovery’ means.

What treatment are we talking about?

We are talking about IAPT services. IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. These services treat people with anxiety and/or depression. These treatments can include therapies such as counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and peer support. The treatments are usually given once a week over 6-8 weeks.

What does ‘recovery’ mean?

In IAPT terms, ‘recovery’ means that someone who began their treatment with a  diagnosis of depression or anxiety no longer fits this diagnosis at the end of treatment.

So how many people have recovered?

According to NHS Digital, around 282,000 people have recovered from anxiety or depression. This is fantastic news. However, there are still lot’s of people who haven’t recovered. There were 1,440,000 referrals to IAPT in 2017-18, but only 555,000 finished their treatment. This means that only 20% of people referred for one of these talking therapies recovers.

Hopefully, a next step will be to understand why this dropout rate is so high.

You can read the full IAPT report, which includes a quick summary, below.

Anuual Report on IAPT Services


Have you used any local mental health services? How were they? Let us know in the comments.

Published on 21 Nov, 2018

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