The drop in services has resulted in people with psychological issues turning to the internet for help – fuelling the unregulated online market.
Mr Hanley said a number of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programmes offered under this scheme, such as Beating the Blues and Fear Fighter – which are both free to access – can help some patients, but for others risk “batting them away” from more appropriate face-to-face services.
It can’t be a one size fits all.” Responding to the concerns, an NHS England spokesperson said: “We now have the biggest national programme for talking therapies, with more people receiving treatment than ever before.
In the progressive 21st century, most mental illnesses and disorders are not plagued by the social stigma that shamed patients hundreds of years ago.
Six sessions with a programme isn’t the same as face-to-face sessions for someone who’s had a horrendous history of sexual abuse.It’s a serious concern that people who are not qualified are charging people for online support.“Over the years I’ve seen a lot of these websites come and go, so it’s very difficult to get any sort of research in place to find out what the outcomes are.Unaccredited online therapists are “preying” on the desperation of people with mental health problems as the NHS struggles to meet rising demand, in many cases exacerbating people’s issues, experts warn.Vulnerable people are being exploited by “unethical” private websites which charge large sums of money for therapy sessions via online chats – with some services even being used as a tool to project religious and spiritual beliefs.