Advancing the Accessibility of Psychotherapy: Learning from Our International Colleagues

Donna M. Sudak, Department of Psychiatry, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Although the Affordable Care Act has theoretically made access to mental health care possible for all patients, the United States continues to lag behind other countries with respect to the provision of psychotherapeutic treatments. In the United Kingdom, for example, substantial resources have been committed to increase the availability of effective psychotherapies, particularly for depression and anxiety disorders. This development required a significant deployment of resources, with more than one billion dollars committed over the course of 7 years (2008-2015). Over 6,000 therapists have been trained and are currently being deployed in specialized local services to treat patients with depression and anxiety. A second phase of the initiative aims to bring psychotherapeutic treatment to patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Psychotherapy advocates in the United States may be more successful in advocating for such treatments by using similar methods to influence legislators and insurers.