A growing body of research has found that when - and this is crucial - it is carried out responsibly, and kept specific, online therapy is one of the most effective ways of dealing with the rising levels of mental ill-health.
That there is a need for treatments other than pills is undoubted. As many as one person in five suffers depression at some point. And of the estimated 1.3 million people who suffer from its severest form, only around 10 per cent receive treatment. According to Mind, the mental-health charity, many depressed patients wait a year or more before getting an appointment with a medical professional on the NHS. Now, though, there are other options, such as self-help CD-roms or, increasingly, online counselling with a professional via internet chatrooms and e-mail correspondence.
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