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The government Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative is the world’s largest public programme for delivering evidence based psychological therapies. It is also an extraordinary exercise in public transparency about mental health outcomes. Around 550,000 patients with depression and/or anxiety disorders receive a NICE recommended psychological therapy each year. Pre and post treatment measures of anxiety and depression are obtained on 98% and the outcomes of each IAPT service are published on the web.

This talk explains how the IAPT programme came about, looking closely at political, economic and policy issues. It is likely to be of interest to clinical psychologists and other mental health professionals who would like to see improvements in mental health provision and policy.