Professor Jesus Perez Lead Clinical Director for NIHR CRN Eastern

Innovative mental health study launches in Eastern region

Date: 21 September 2017

People who suffer from common mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and also have psychotic experiences could benefit from an innovative talking therapy in the future thanks to a £2.5m NIHR research study led by world-leading experts from the Eastern region. 

A quarter of people who are getting help from  Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) or psychological wellbeing services for common mental health disorders may have some psychotic experiences, such as paranoia or hearing voices. However, their experiences are not measured routinely and they do not recover very well. These people do not feel supported properly by their local NHS.

The new study, funded by the NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) Programme and co-lead by CRN Eastern's Lead Clinical Director could help pave the way for new models of care to be designed to plug this gap. These include tailored ‘talking therapies’ and a training package for therapists working in psychological wellbeing services.

Professor Jesus Perez (pictured) and Professor Peter Jones, consultants at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) led the successful application for the Tailoring evidence-based psychological therapY for People with common mental disorder including Psychotic EXperiences study (TYPPEX). It builds upon findings and work of CPFT’s award-winning CAMEO Early Intervention in Psychosis Services.

Professor Perez, Lead Consultant Psychiatrist at CAMEO and Lead Clinical Director for CRN Eastern said,“The TYPPEX study will develop a form of talking therapy that will meet the needs of people with a common mental health condition and psychotic experiences with the aim of increasing recovery rates.

"This talking therapy will be offered to service-users in familiar environments making it more accessible and less stigmatising than specialist mental health services. TYPPEX will also provide a blueprint for testing other therapies beyond current cognitive behavioural therapy and lead to more efficient NHS psychological wellbeing services.”

Psychosis affects an estimated 1.5m to 2m of the population in the UK but a previous study by Professor Perez has found that many more people attending psychological wellbeing services could have psychotic experiences, but which have not been previously picked up.

Professor Jones added, "We want services to help people with the problems they have, not the illnesses they may, but probably won’t develop. We aim to develop precision psychotherapy for people with a particular combination of problems that just hasn’t been properly recognised in the past. The work is also controversial because it challenges the way professionals are taught to think.”

Thousands of service-users treated by several psychological wellbeing services across England will benefit from this study over the next five years.

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  • Summary:
    A research grant to develop innovative targeted support for mental health patients has been awarded to world-leading experts from the CRN Eastern region
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