A New Mental Health Service Model for NI: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Low Intensity CBT (LI-CBT)

Dr Karen Kirby, Ms Orla Mc Devitt-Petrovic, Dr Orla McBride, Prof Mark Shevlin, Dr Donal McAteer, Dr Colin Gorman and Dr Jamie Murphy (Ulster)

In 2010, the Strategy for the Development of Psychological Therapy Services in NI proposed a step care framework (SCF) as the most efficient model of mental health service delivery. A core feature of the SCF was that those with anxiety and depression would receive early interventions with a treatment that was shown to work. Despite the fact that early interventions such as LI-CBT are the most strongly evidenced interventions for depression and anxiety (NICE, 2009), and are shown to save money in the long term (London School of Economics, 2012), we do not currently have a service framework that formally applies this evidence, by training and employing specialist therapists to work in early intervention. Those with mild to moderate depression and anxiety who would greatly benefit from this service are thus missing out. At Ulster University we have therefore trained approximately 30 LI-CBT therapists to meet the developing service demands (treating approximately 500 clients), and while they are on placement, we are routinely monitoring their effectiveness on a session by session basis. The researchers at Ulster aim to evaluate the efficacy of this service model, based on the criteria of reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms below a clinical threshold, while being standardised against national rates for recovery, are thus demonstrated.

Date of seminar: 8 March 2017.

Policy Briefing