Online support for mental health

Computerised CBT rolls out across Scotland.

A national computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) programme will be up and running across Scotland by the end of the year. 

The Scottish Government’s mental health strategy commits to develop more accessible psychological therapy self-help resources and support the national rollout of cCBT with NHS 24 by 2018.

Following a successful pilot in a number of health board areas, the programme is being rolled out to all Scottish territorial boards, supported by TEC (Technology Enabled Care) funding.

cCBT services are proven to:

  • improve patient access to psychological therapies
  • provide additional treatment choice and early intervention
  • act as a first choice treatment for those with mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety

Figures published today show further increases in both psychological therapies and ‎child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) workforce. Under this Government the psychological therapies workforce has increased by 61% and the CAMHS workforce by 68%, with the number of CAMHS psychologists having doubled.

The latest figures from ISD Scotland also show that 80.7% of CAMHS patients were seen within 18 weeks during the quarter ending 30 June 2017, up from 77.7% in the same quarter last year.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said:

“I’m really pleased to see the progress being made on computerised CBT, which is something we’ve committed to in our mental health strategy. I have been clear that giving people easy access to the treatment they need in a timely and efficient manner is an absolute priority for this government. We know that cCBT is clinically and cost effective, is recommended by NICE and SIGN clinical guidelines and access to it is almost instant, with minimal delays between referral and treatment.

“Therefore cCBT will be a valuable tool in continuing to reduce our mental health waiting times. I am determined that we will hit our 90 per cent target and we will continue to work with Boards to make sure that happens right across Scotland and the Mental Health Access Improvement Support Team are working in partnership with Boards to deliver sustained improvements, and ensure services are designed and delivered in the most efficient way.”

Anne Joiner, Beating the Blues Project Co-ordinator, NHS Tayside said:

“Working within a role on the cCBT service, every day is different, there is a great sense of achievement and job satisfaction when you are helping/supporting patients/users overcome their own difficulties/depression. The many thank you cards/emails received supports the patients/users positive journey. A great benefit to online cCBT is it can be accessed almost immediately, therefore possibly alleviating patients/users mental health state becoming worse.”


For the past 4 years NHS 24 through the Scottish Centre for Telehealth & Telecare (SCTT) has hosted the "cCBT National Implementation Team" who are responsible for rolling out cCBT across the 14 territorial Health Boards in Scotland. cCBT in Scotland is now being delivered at scale, supported by significant levels of clinical engagement. 

Full mental health statistical publications can be read here.

Psychological therapies waiting times are also published today; however ISD advise that data completeness for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is between 20-25% due to patient management system changes. As these data completeness issues impact on the total numbers for Scotland no comparisons with the previous quarter or previous years are included with this quarter’s publication.


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