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Claimants given mental health therapy by computers

7 August 2006

Not content with using computer software to assess claimants mental health and to make decisions about DLA, the DWP has now introduced computerised therapy for claimants.

A company called Ultrasis has won contracts to provide computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to claimants in Doncaster and Newham. Benefits and Work understands that claimants with mild to moderate depression, anxiety and schizophrenia will be offered the opportunity to get help from a computer terminal.

The software programme, 'Beating the Blues', provides 8 sessions of CBT which uses animation and voice-overs to help 'motivate and engage the user'. According to Ultrasis the treatment results in an 30 additional depression free days in the six months after treatment.

The DWP believes that software psychiatry will improve wellbeing, reduce 'worklessness' and, crucially, cut the number of people claiming incapacity benefit.

You can read more about 'Beating the Blues' on the Ultrasis website.