The Stormont health minister, Edwin Poots, has called for people suffering from depression to make use of an online programme for treatment. The programme, called ‘Beat the Blues,’ is currently used by around 350 people each month. However, Poots claims that 50,000 licenses have been funded by the department and he is therefore keen to see an uptake in people using the treatment.
The programme is designed to treat mild to moderate depression, and provides eight 50 minute sessions. The sessions allow patients to explore problems and help develop the skills needed to tackle depression. The treatment has been approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, and can be provided to patients free of charge by their GP.
“Beating the Blues offers an effective alternative to medication for the treatment of depression and can be used on its own, or as a complement to other types of therapy,” said Poots. “The interactive tool enables patients to take control of their treatment and their mental health by changing the way they think about issues affecting their lives.”
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