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The Importance of Early Mental Health Intervention

Early intervention and treatment is a priority when it comes to physical illness, so why is this not the case with mental health problems? Early mental health intervention can prevent more severe symptoms from developing and reduce the impact of mental ill health on a person’s wellbeing, relationships, and employment.

Why early intervention is so important

In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Dr Anna Stevens writes that earlier intervention and treatment would not only prevent the worsening of mental health symptoms, but also the development of other complications. For example, generalised anxiety, if untreated, may lead to substance misuse issues.

If mental health problems go untreated and people are not supported, they can escalate and impact negatively on a person’s wellbeing, relationships, family life, and work life.

What gets in the way of early mental health intervention?

Aside from a lack of mental health service provision and long waiting lists for treatment, stigma is a common reason why people don’t seek treatment earlier.

Though we have come a long way in reducing the stigma around admitting to a mental health problem, it’s still there, which can prevent some people from getting help.

The benefits of early mental health intervention

Seeking help for a mental health problem is not something to be ashamed of; it’s a sign of courage, and a willingness to take ownership of your wellbeing when you know that something isn’t right. There are clear benefits of getting treatment early for mental health issues, including:

Prevents more serious symptoms and problems

The sooner people seek help for mental health problems, the better. Early intervention allows them to understand why they feel as they do and learn coping mechanisms and strategies to stay well. It can also prevent secondary problems developing like substance misuse or self-harm.

Reduces the impact of mental health problems on a person’s life

Mental ill health can have an insidious impact on a person’s life. Relationships can deteriorate and work performance suffers, as does physical health. Early mental health intervention through therapy can help mitigate some of the effects of mental ill health on a person’s life. For example, it can help them stay in work, perform well, and reduce the chances of sickness absence.

Improves the chances of a full recovery

Early intervention improves a person’s chances of making a full recovery, by arming them with healthy coping mechanisms to stay well and move forward with their lives.

Changes outlook on life and provides a sense of hope for the future

Experiencing a mental health problem and having therapy can change a person’s outlook on life for the better. They may feel ready to get rid of things which no longer serve them or they may want to take on new challenges and make positive changes. All of these can give a person that all-important sense of hope for the future.

Rapid Access Workplace Therapy

At Talk Works, we recognise the importance of early mental health intervention. That’s why we provide Rapid Access Workplace Therapy to help employers ensure their teams have access to professional mental health support whenever they need it.

Available within 7 days and delivered by experienced North East-based therapists, our therapy services can help you empower your team to feel well, work well, and be the best they can be.


Find out more about Rapid Access Workplace Therapy.

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