U-CARE participated in Uppsala Health Summit

2021-11-01

How can access to evidence-based psychological interventions be improved? That was the subject of a workshop organized by U-CARE at Uppsala Health Summit, which this year focused on mental wellbeing.

Logo of Uppsala Health Summit

Dr. Joanne Woodford and Professor Paul Farrand presented experiences from England, where the introduction of a mental health program based on low-intensity cognitive behavioral therapy (LICBT) improved access to psychological treatment. The program includes a stepped care delivery model and the establishment of a new workforce of psychological practitioners.

Stepped care delivery model
In the stepped care delivery model, different types of psychological support are provided at different steps depending on factors such as what kind of mental health difficulties a person has and how severe these difficulties might be. The idea behind stepped care is that people receive evidence-based psychological support that is appropriate to their needs:

– The idea is that no one should be given more support than what is needed, but also everyone should be given enough support to help them get better – so matched to their needs, Joanne Woodford explains. It means that we’re providing the most appropriate level of care and helps us to use resources more effectively.

Photo of Joanne Woodford
Dr. Joanne Woodford.

New workforce of psychological practitioners
Another topic that was discussed during the workshop was the development of a new workforce of psychological practitioners. Today there are great differences between different countries when it comes to the number of different types of psychological professions.

– We discussed what psychological professions are available in our countries, and what sort of challenges we face when introducing new workforces, says Joanne Woodford. In England, for example, there is a workforce called psychological wellbeing practitioners. They are specifically trained in low-intensity CBT to support people with common mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety. However, this type of psychological profession does not exist in the other countries attending the workshop.

Participants from all over the world
The workshop was well received by the participants who took part in it from all over the world.

– We had participants from the United States, Indonesia, Zambia, U.K., Saudi Arabia, and Sweden of course, says Joanne Woodford with a smile. I’ve had some emails after the workshop from people who enjoyed it, even though we experienced some technical issues in the beginning.

She is happy that the Uppsala Health Summit chose to focus on mental wellbeing this year.

– It emphasizes the importance of mental wellbeing and that we need to do better to reduce the treatment gap both within our countries and across the globe, Joanne Woodford concludes.

In addition to Dr. Joanne Woodford and Professor Paul Farrand, Professor Catherine Gallop participated as an inspirational speaker on the topic children and young people’s mental health.

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Last modified: 2022-05-25