Guernsey mental health service launched

A new service has been made available for people in Guernsey with mild to moderate mental health problems.

The Primary Care Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is a two-year pilot delivering talking therapies.

It is aimed at tackling mental health problems that cause disruption socially or at work, most commonly sufferers of anxiety or depression.

It will be free of charge to patients as it will be funded by the Social Security Department.

Minister Mark Dorey said: "The 2010 Guernsey emotional health and wellbeing survey showed that one in four working people had experienced anxiety or depression.

"This new service presents opportunities for the all-important early intervention. We hope this will help people to remain in work while receiving help with their problems.

"We also hope to see a reduction in the length of some mental health-related sickness claims."

A steering group involving Social Security, Health and Social Services, the three primary care practices and a representative from the charity Mind has been set up to oversee the service.

Hunter Adam, Health and Social Services Minister, said: "Talking therapies offer support by helping people identify patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviour, deal with difficult issues in life and prevent more serious problems arising."

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