Couples therapy on NHS

The NHS is to finance six months free counselling if a relationship is under threat from depression or mental health problems

The Government  is to offer couples counselling on the NHS for the first time.

People whose relationships are affected by depression or mental health problems will be offered a choice of individual or couples therapy for up to six months.

The new initiative, which is part of a wider move to increase access to counselling and therapy through the NHS, will start in April, reports the Press Association.

The NHS will pay Relate and other counselling services to provide therapy.

‘When couples hit a rocky patch, a bit of help and support can stop it spiralling out of control,’ said Andy Burham, the Health Secretary. ‘Professional support can help people rebuild relationships or separate amicably.’

However, such spending on counselling has been criticised in other quarters of the NHS, which is bracing itself for cuts.

‘I think most people would say treatment for those who are sick with cancer should be the top of our list, and I would really question whether these kinds of efforts to preserve marriages are a matter for the state,’ Nick James, professor of clinical oncology at the Institute for Cancer Studies, told the Mail.


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