Overview

Breaking Free Group is an innovative, dynamic and fast-growing digital healthcare company based in the UK.

It was founded in 2010 by Dr Jonathan Ward, who practiced as a clinical psychologist before setting up leading psychological consultancy CPA (www.cpa-ltd.co.uk) in 2004.

The mission of Breaking Free Group is to create the widest possible access to evidence-based psychological interventions. To realise this, we have developed a powerful and adaptable digital health platform which targets the underlying psychological and lifestyle factors that drive addictive behaviours.  

Based on this platform, our clinically-robust online programmes for alcohol and drug dependence overcome many of the key barriers to treatment and recovery - such as stigma, concerns about confidentiality, time constraints, and difficulties accessing substance misuse services or support groups.

Our programmes are helping people achieve measurable and enduring behavioural change in a diverse range of settings. We are evidencing this through systematic mixed-methods research in line with the Medical Research Council framework for developing and evaluating complex healthcare interventions. This research has led to a series of publications in UK and US peer-reviewed journals.

Breaking Free Online is an evidence-based treatment and recovery programme that has been commissioned by over 60 Local Authorities and NHS Trusts across the UK, and adopted by several leading national substance misuse treatment providers, including CRI, Turning Point and Addaction. It is augmented by Staying Free, a powerful relapse prevention toolkit in a mobile app that is now available on the Android and iOS platforms.

Breaking Free Online (Health and Justice) is the world's first online healthcare intervention for offenders to be implemented in prisons. It was developed in consultation with the Ministry of Justice, and has been commissioned by NHS England as an integral part of the Gateways pathfinder. This is a major UK Government initiative to reduce reoffending rates by improving the continuity of care between prison and the community.

Both versions of Breaking Free Online comply with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance (CG51, CG90, CG113 and CG115) and the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System.

They are also accredited by leading awarding body OCR (Oxford Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts). This means that as well as facilitating recovery from substance dependence, for many people the programmes also provide a springboard to education, training and employment opportunities.

Breaking Free Group won an E-Health Insider Award in 2012 and a Smarta 100 Award in 2014, and was a regional winner in the Most Innovative Small Business category of the Great Faces of British Business competition run by the UK Government in 2015.