Pilot Guernsey counselling scheme sees 800 referrals

Guernsey family doctors have referred more than 800 people to a pilot counselling scheme in the seven months since it began.

The psychological therapy service helps islanders who are diagnosed with "mild to moderate anxiety or depression".

Dr Sara Johnson, the clinical psychologist leading the service, said: "It's been extraordinarily positive."

She said they were now hoping to develop the pilot scheme for the future.

She said medical evidence showed counselling could be as useful as drugs in helping people with anxiety and depression.

"Psychological therapies are the treatment of choice," she said.

"We're taking an early intervention and prevention line so that people's difficulties don't deteriorate and don't get worse for people."

A steering group involving Social Security, health and social services, the three primary care practices and a representative from the charity Mind was set up in September to oversee the service, which is funded through social services.

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