Celebrating five years of pioneering mental health training and research
Release Date 25 January 2013
A pioneering mental health training and research centre based at the University of Reading celebrated its 5th birthday this week.
Since opening in 2008, The Charlie Waller Institute of Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment (CWI) has trained over 300 highly skilled mental health clinicians. After receiving training from national and international experts in the field, many have gone on to treat patients in the local area. In addition the Institute has provided over 5000 training days to support improvements in mental health care across the UK.
The CWI attracts world experts who help train local NHS staff to use the most effective therapy when treating patients with mental health issues. CWI was the first of its type to train clinicians in proven psychological treatments recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The importance of effective, accessible mental health treatment was highlighted this week by new figures showing the number of people taking their own life in the UK rose "significantly" in 2011.
Professor Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute, said: "Mental health problems are estimated to affect one in four people, yet most mental disorders are untreated. People suffer for an average of five-ten years before seeking treatment while only two-thirds of people receive treatment that could be considered as 'minimally adequate'.
"We are extremely proud to be celebrating five years of outstanding work. As well as training clinicians who go on to make a real difference to people's lives, CWI is at the forefront of psychological research. We currently have studies investigating treatments for adolescents with depression, adults and young people who have obsessive compulsive disorder and those with post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia."
Costas Lambropoulos trained at the CWI for a Postgraduate Diploma in Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment (IAPT Pathway) and is now a Primary Care Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT) with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Costas, who lives in West London, said: "The CWI course was extremely interesting. As it was being offered for the first time we all felt that we contributed to its development and success through our feedback and recommendations. During my training, and later on as a qualified CBT therapist, I attended CWI workshops delivered by leading figures whose therapeutic models I now apply when treating patients with common mental health problems, mainly depression and anxiety.
One of the patients Costas helped was Ailsa Harrison who suffered from severe depression.
Ailsa, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, said: There's no doubt in my mind that being treated by a well-trained, skilled therapist was crucial. In the sessions, Costas really listened to me and was able to suggest a whole range of tools and techniques that I could try. He then supported me through trying out those methods so that I felt safe to experiment with new ways of behaving. It was the first time in a very long time that I had felt hopeful. When hope has been missing from your life, it's a great feeling! My therapy ended over two years ago and I still use what Costas taught me every day to help me stay well."
The CWI is named after Charlie Waller, a Berkshire man who took his own life at the age of 28. His parents, Rt. Hon Sir Mark Waller and Lady Rachel Waller, set up a Trust in his memory to raise awareness of the nature and dangers of depression, reduce stigma and train clinicians in effective psychological therapies.
Rt. Hon Sir Mark Waller said: "The achievements of the Charlie Waller Institute in the last five years has been beyond our wildest dreams. Our thanks are due to the Institute's previous director Professor Roz Shafran, and now Professor Shirley Reynolds and the dedicated staff that work at the CWI."
More information about the Charlie Waller Institute or phone 0118 378 6668.
For all media enquiries please contact James Barr, University of Reading Press Officer on 0118 378 7115 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2012) and is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities.
The Charlie Waller Institute:
The Charlie Waller Institute of Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment opened in January 2008 and is the first of its type to train clinicians in proven psychological treatments recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The aims of the Charlie Waller Institute are to:
- train clinicians in evidence-based psychological treatments in particular those recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
- evaluate the effectiveness of the training to ensure that it improves clinician knowledge, skills and patient outcome;
- undertake research to add to the evidence-base for effective psychological treatments