IAPT at 10: celebrating the past and shaping the future of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

IAPT at 10 celebrates the achievements of the many thousands of NHS staff who have led and supported the creation and expansion of an evidence-based talking therapies service which, since 2008, has helped people with depression or anxiety to recover and get on with their lives.

From small beginnings, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme has grown and now treats more than one million people a year in England. For every month in 2017 and 2018, patient recovery rates were around 50% or above and two-thirds or more of people showed an improvement in their condition.

To recognise the achievements of a ground-breaking programme which has transformed the treatment of common mental health problems, and is now studied by other countries, NHS England invited staff and service users to join some of the key figures behind IAPT to a celebratory event. This was an occasion to say thank you to all those working in talking therapies for what they have done so far for the NHS and service users.

The celebration of the first 10 years of IAPT is also an opportunity to look to the future and give a clear signal about what more can be achieved for people’s mental health. NHS England will continue to expand access to IAPT services for adults and older adults with common mental health problems, with a focus on those with long-term conditions. By 2023/24 an additional 380,000 adults and older adults will be able to access NICE-approved talking therapies. This expansion of IAPT will ensure many more people recover from their mental health problems, and it will help reduce the physical healthcare costs incurred by people with common mental health conditions. Read the NHS Long Term Plan for more information.

IAPT at 10 blogs

Professor David M Clark, National Clinical and Informatics Advisor for IAPT and one of its architects, looks back at the evolution of the talking therapies programme and how its future expansion is set to benefit even more people.  Read more >>

Rebecca Hughes, Service Lead at Insight Healthcare in West Yorkshire, joined the IAPT programme in its early years. She gives her perspective on the growth of the programme along with Employment Advisor and recovered former service user Karla. Read more >>