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Beating the Blues US Earns National Recognition

PITTSBURGH (July 09, 2013) - "Beating the Blues US," a computer-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program, has been independently assessed and rated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the agency that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the United States.

Beating the Blues US is now included in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices after meeting its requirements for review. SAMHSA stated that Beating the Blues US "has been independently assessed and rated for Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination."

U Squared Interactive - a company formed by the UPMC Health Plan and the British company Ultrasis – began marketing Beating the Blues US in the United States in 2011.

"The independent recognition by SAMHSA is a major milestone for U Squared Interactive," said Diane P. Holder, Chairman of the Board of U Squared Interactive. "Beating the Blues US is the only computerized CBT program to achieve this and confirms that our evidence base sets us apart from all other products on the market."

Beating the Blues US is a computer-delivered series of cognitive behavioral therapy sessions for adults with mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety. It is based on the concept that changing one’s thoughts can help to change one’s feelings and behaviors as well. A clinician is needed only to screen clients for depression and/or anxiety and provide them with a referral to Beating the Blues US or access to the online system.

"There are a number of Internet-based programs that are based on CBT but that don’t have the wealth of research behind them to prove their outcomes in relation to face-to-face CBT," said Sharon Hicks, a U Squared Interactive board member who led the effort to obtain SAMHSA recognition. "The ability to provide evidence-based CBT via the Web means that users can be confident that completing Beating the Blues US will give them the same, or better, results than CBT with a clinician, effectively doing away with a major barrier to getting the care they need."

Beating the Blues US is now well-positioned to become "the premier online CBT program in the United States," said John Smith, Chief Executive of Ultrasis, which developed Beating the Blues in the United Kingdom.

"This is a fantastic achievement for U Squared Interactive," Smith said. "Inclusion on the National Registry is a significant step in getting Beating the Blues acknowledged as a mainstream treatment in the U.S."

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