£13m to help promote dignity for victims of recession

The government's talking therapies programme aims to treat an additional 900,000 people with common mental health problems by training 3,600 new therapists from 2008-11.

Other pledges include:-

  • Having employment support workers linked to every talking therapy service.
  • Having health advisers trained to spot people who might be experiencing depression as a result of economic problems available on a dedicated NHS Direct phone line.

Johnson also said primary care trusts would be encouraged to use up to £80m of savings made due to the temporary reduction in VAT from 17.5% to 15% this year to commission debt advice and family counselling services.

The added support was welcomed by mental health charity Mind and the NHS Confederation.

Mind's chief executive, Paul Farmer, said: "The recession is not just affecting people's bank balances; it is having a huge human cost too. Redundancy and money worries put strain on family relationships, cause sleepless nights, trigger stress and increase the risk of developing depression."