Pathways of recovery: preventing further episodes of mental illness (monograph)

Wider range of treatment options

Page last updated: 2006

A wider range of treatment options needs to be available for people with mental illness. People in the public mental health care system, in particular, often have only a limited range of therapeutic options and do not have access to psychological therapies and psychosocial approaches.

For example, despite its established success, few people with mental illness have access to cognitive behavioural therapeutic (CBT) approaches. Many people in the consultations revealed that they found learning such skills (often through self-help approaches) was critical in staying well. CBT approaches help to prevent relapse by enabling people to disengage from habitual, dysfunctional ways of thinking (Teasdale et al 2001). They are most useful in treating the depression and anxiety that are frequently comorbid with psychotic illness (Jablensky et al 1999).

It wasn't until I did more than just take medication that I found ways to stay well. The medication was really important to start with. I needed the medication to get me stable to be able to start to try out and learn other techniques. But it has been learning some cognitive techniques and learning to meditate and making sure that I practice these things every day that have really made the difference for me for staying well. —Consumer
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy integrates the elements of CBT with meditation-based stress reduction and is geared to preventing relapse for people who have recovered from episodes of major depression by enabling them to become more aware of their negative thoughts and feelings and to change the way that they relate to them (Segal, Williams & Teasdale 2002).