Study looks at therapy without drugs

MARK NICHOLLS A research project starting in Norfolk and Waveney is looking at the impact of giving non-drug therapy to young people who are at risk of developing a mental illness.

MARK NICHOLLS

A research project starting in Norfolk and Waveney is looking at the impact of giving non-drug therapy to young people who are at risk of developing a mental illness.

The aim is to determine whether giving non-drug therapy can prevent the development of mental illness or reduce the severity of its symptoms. The study is taking place in five trusts nationwide, which are replicating an earlier trial in Manchester, called Edie (Early Detection Intervention and Evaluation).

That study had indicated that cognitive therapy - recognising unhelpful or destructive patterns of thinking and helping the sufferer find ways of replacing those with more realistic or helpful thoughts - has a significant effect in reducing the rate and impact of mental illness.

Cognitive therapists Tony Reilly and Rebecca Rollinson, of Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust, are taking part in the new Edie 2 trial, which is being led by Professor David Fowler.

The project concentrates on people aged between 14 and 35 who are seeking help but have had no history of receiving anti-psychotic medication.