Long term conditions and mental health


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Improve support for people with long-term physical illnesses and depression or anxiety.

Delivery date:

  • ongoing

To do this we will:

  • train more psychological therapists to work in local communities and hospitals to help people with long term physical health conditions
  • support teams to work together to identify more people who will benefit most from psychological therapies
  • identify earlier those most at risk of poor mental health and offer a broader range of support.

It is better for people because:

  • better support and treatment will improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing and quality of life
  • taking more control of their health means more independence, more employment opportunities and fuller lives
  • joining-up services will make people’s treatment more effective.

It is better for the health and care system because:

  • more people will be treated and more effectively
  • there will be less demand for emergency care
  • more people will be supported to have longer, happier and healthier lives.

Key facts:

  • around one-in-three people with a long-term condition have a mental health need, but this often goes unnoticed and un-treated
  • nearly 150,000 people in NW London have a long-term illness and mental health needs
  • almost half of people with mental health needs also have a long-term physical illness.

Expected outcomes:

  • better and earlier identification of people with long-term illnesses and mental health needs
  • improved access to psychological therapies, especially for older people and people with diabetes
  • a fully skilled workforce able to support the emotional wellbeing of people with long-term physical ill-health.


  • studies suggest that collaborative working between mental and physical healthcare professionals leads to improved outcomes, especially for diabetes and lung disease, with the additional cost of extra psychological support off-set by savings from reduced need for physical health care.