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Growing use of talking therapies has potential to reduce other hospitalisations 

28 September 2023

Link between talking therapies and physical health 

New data from Vitality has revealed the key role access to talking therapies has in improving the long-term mental and physical health of patients. 

The rise of talking therapies  

The insurer reports a 500% increase in those claiming for talking therapies since 2015, accounting for an incredible 85% of all mental health claims in 2022, with the most common claims being for generalised anxiety (58%) and depression (17%).   

Not only is talking therapies responding to a growing need for fast access to support for these common conditions, but Vitality has seen a correlation between higher numbers of Talking Therapies, and reduced rates of more severe and higher cost day-patient and in-patient treatments (down 77% since 2015).  

The relationship between mental and physical health 

Vitality’s results pointed to the long-term benefits of timely talking therapy treatment, with 99% of those using the service requiring no further treatment within three months. Further analysis showed a causal relationship between talking therapies treatment and people's broader mental and physical health, with a 21% reduction in the risk of mental health hospital admissions, and a 20% reduction in other hospitalisations due to physical health (such as cancer, cardiac and musculoskeletal claims). This strongly points to a link between mental and physical wellbeing.  

According to Dr Keith Klintworth, Managing Director, Vitality Health: “For both physical and mental health, Vitality has long believed in the importance of prevention and intervening early through everyday care to improve patient outcomes, and to reduce the long-term burden of ill-health on insurers and the NHS.  

Our latest data highlights the powerful role that broadening access to mental health care can have in delivering care. Not only is it a high-demand service but it provides positive knock-on impacts on members’ mental and physical health. We’ve always strived to support our members in engaging with healthy behaviours, and this goes beyond regular exercise and diet, but includes looking after your mind.” 

The statistics being reported by Vitality around mental health over recent years are the reason the business has continued to develop and innovate its offerings. After recognising a clear need from its members, it became the first insurer to disregard underwriting for the treatment irrespective of a patient’s medical history.  


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