Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) was officially launched in 2008 and is a national NHS programme, which offers evidence based psychological therapies or interventions approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). IAPT is primarily for treating people with mild to moderate mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

IAPT is based on 4 key principles:

  • Better access to services
  • Clinical improvement and recovery
  • Improved social and economic participation, including employment for working age people
  • Increased patient choice and satisfaction


IAPT treatments are delivered via a stepped care model where patients are initially offered low intensity therapies such as computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) and guided self help. If such treatments are unsuccessful or not appropriate for individuals higher intensity therapies are utilised, which include one to one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT).  

Within Yorkshire and the Humber the Mental Health Network has established an IAPT Providers’ Network to support quality and innovation whilst also ensuring clear communication links to Mental Health Commissioners.

The Mental Health Network assists the IAPT Providers Network by:

  • Facilitating engagement and information sharing from relevant national leads, including arranging for them to attend meetings to present when appropriate
  • Supporting the Intensive Support Team (IST) in delivering IAPT data, recovery and capacity/demand workshops for all local Clinical Commissioning Groups and Providers
  • Developing understanding of problems with Older Adults accessing IAPT services and supporting work to improve access for Older Adults
  • Disseminating relevant information from both NHS England and group members


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