Making life easier for the mentally ill

PUBLISHED: 11:24 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

A NEW way of supporting people with anxiety and depression is being piloted in North Herts. The Letchworth GC area is one of three places in Hertfordshire which is trying out a new system for organising mental health services. The system involves having a

A NEW way of supporting people with anxiety and depression is being piloted in North Herts.

The Letchworth GC area is one of three places in Hertfordshire which is trying out a new system for organising mental health services.

The system involves having a primary care mental health team, comprising a community psychiatric nurse, social worker and primary care mental health worker who will offer help to people with mild to moderate problems.

They will be able to offer short-term effective therapies and provide a link with other community agencies.

Community mental health team manager Wendy Abondolo said: "There is a well-established link between mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression and social problems such as relationship breakdowns and unemployment but GPs don't have time to handle this range of difficulties, and the community mental health team is for people with severe mental health problems.

"This reorganisation should address this gap in services.

"Everyone knows the NHS needs to make best use of its scarce and valuable resources.

"This is our way of restructuring services to try to do things better."

The new pilot service was officially launched last Friday.

It has support from the local primary care trust and the National Institute for Mental Health.

The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living has provided additional space.

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