Mental illness is one of the largest single causes of disability in London. Two million Londoners will experience mental ill-health every year. London has a higher mental health need (relative to population size) than other areas of England. However, the risk is not evenly distributed, with different outcomes seen for different groups.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency to improve access to mental wellbeing prevention and self-help resources and treatment. London’s unique geography, identity, regional development, and digital assets means it can improve the digital capability of local IAPT services, increasing access and improving outcomes for Londoners, whilst also reducing costs to the health system.
IAPT is an ‘at scale’ vehicle for the NHS to respond to the anticipated increase in anxiety and depression. The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) prioritises an increased capacity in IAPT. However, Covid-19 has also reduced both staff and population access to face-to-face IAPT services.
The London digital IAPT programme was established in September 2018, on behalf of the London Mental Health Transformation Programme and IAPT Clinical Leads Network. The Digital IAPT Programme workstreams complement other work to spread best practice across IAPT services. The programme has developed the following workstreams to help support the London population and IAPT services.