Counselling on the NHS is to be be offered to couples who are depressed because of relationship problems, says Health Secretary Andy Burnham.
He is due to tell the New Savoy Partnership, a group of organisations aiming to improve access to psychological therapies: "Trouble at home can lead to depression and anxiety – sometimes even children can be caught up in the fallout.
"When couples hit a rocky patch, a bit of help and support can stop it spiralling out of control.
"Professional support can help people rebuild relationships or separate amicably – that is why I want couples-therapy to be more widely available on the NHS."
The free advice will be available from April as part of the government's IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme set up to help people suffering from anxiety and depression to get back to work.
It accords with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance that relationship therapy should be offered under the programme.