From the 1st November to 3rd January, visitors to the Mental Health Foundation’s website will be able to get free access to Depression Relief — an online self-help program that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques.
Used by Primary Care Trusts in the United Kingdom and employee healthcare providers in the United States, Depression Relief may be suitable for anyone experiencing mild or moderate depression. The confidential program allows users to go at their own pace, learning self-help techniques which can help them manage their condition. The program is being made available by Ultrasis, the healthcare company that developed Beating the Blues, the only computer based treatment for depression recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for use in the UK’s National Health Service.
Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:
“Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is widely recognised as one of the most effective methods for treating depression, yet there is a major shortage of therapists. Most people who want to try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy have to join long NHS waiting lists or pay to see a therapist privately. While online CBT is not a replacement for face-to-face therapy, we need to start investigating other supporting treatments that people with mental health problems can use.”
Nigel Brabbins, Chief Executive of Ultrasis Plc said:
“Mental health problems can have a negative impact on the well being of any one of us. We want people to know that the tools and techniques for prevention and treatment are available without having to wait months to see a therapist. Cost effective online programs need to be more widely available and we hope to reach as many people as possible through the Mental Health Foundation’s website who may want help when NHS services are not available.”
Visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk between 1 November 2006 and 3 January 2007 to get free unlimited access for four weeks. You will need broadband access to the Internet. Depression Relief has been designed for those aged 18 and over. The Mental Health Foundation strongly recommends that people should seek professional medical advice if they are concerned about their mental health.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a short-term therapy that offers a practical approach to problem-solving. It is most often delivered face to face, enabling a person to talk one-to-one with a trained therapist. CBT helps a person to see the link between how they think on one hand, and how they feel and behave on the other. In particular it works on identifying thoughts that are unrealistic and how to change them to more helpful ways of thinking.
Automated online therapy programmes delivering CBT can be great stuff — and we have previously recommended MoodGYM, an Australian programme for providing free CBT. But many people like interaction with a real live human as part of the process; if that means you, please do check out our in-house online therapy and online counselling service.
IMPORTANT: The purpose of this blog post is to publicise the free online therapy being offered by the Mental Health Foundation. The blog post itself is not a vehicle for providing free online therapy. The comments form will now be closed to prevent any further confusion. (Managing Editor, April 2007)
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .