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Creating better mental healthcare for more people

April 5, 2021

For this year’s World Health Day (Wednesday 7th April), the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on people to join its new campaign to build a fairer, healthier world for everyone. Better access to quality health services – when and where people need them – plays a huge part in this mission, and it’s something that’s very close to our heart.

At ieso, we believe that every person should have access to high quality mental health treatment, wherever they are. We’re working to help make this happen in a number of ways.

Firstly, by offering CBT therapy online we open the door to treatment for tens of thousands of people across the UK each year, helping them to recover from common mental health problems and enjoy their lives again. And we’re constantly working to expand our reach, by making therapy more widely available through the NHS as well as other routes.

Online CBT makes treatment more accessible by removing the need to travel to and from appointments: patients speak to a therapist straight from their phone, laptop or tablet, usually via typing, with video therapy also available in some areas. Appointments times are flexible, and can be booked seven days a week to fit around work and other commitments. There’s no waiting list, so people can start treatment straight away – typically within around three to four days compared with an average of 35 days for face-to-face treatment.

Patients also often tell us that they feel more comfortable with online therapy, finding it easier to open up about personal or difficult subjects when talking from the comfort of their own home.

Research shows that online CBT is just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy for mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, OCD, social anxiety, phobias and panic disorders. In fact, in 2020 67% of patients recovered from their difficulties, compared with the NHS’s national target of 50%.

We’re also working hard behind the scenes to not only improve our own services, but also contribute to how mental health treatment is understood and delivered across the world. This involves combining the knowledge we’ve gathered about ‘what works’ to help patients recover, with digital techniques such as artificial intelligence (AI) to improve therapy sessions and help make sure people get exactly the right treatment.

"Mental healthcare has lagged behind physical healthcare in terms of understanding illness and precision of treatment,” explains ieso’s Chief AI Officer, Dr Valentin Tablan. “Using our vast dataset and digital techniques we’re able to make breakthroughs in assessment, treatment and prevention, and develop tools that will help more people access high quality mental healthcare, wherever they are in the world."

Find out more about what to expect from online CBT.

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