A Consensus Conference of clinicians, researchers, public health specialists and users was convened in Italy to review efficacy, effectiveness, treatment appropriateness and access to care for anxiety and depression, and to consider the role of psychological therapies. Expert opinion was sought concerning identification of people requiring psychological therapies according to levels of symptom severity matched to corresponding levels of treatment intensity, suitability of psychological therapies for subclinical anxiety or depression, definition of a minimum level of information on evidence-based psychotherapies to be provided by university medical and psychology courses, initiatives to raise awareness among potential users and decision makers on the role and effectiveness of psychological therapies in healthcare. The expert jury concluded that a number of psychological therapy models endorsed by most authoritative guidelines are supported by research showing their effectiveness at least equal to the drugs used in common mental disorders (CMDs). Such therapies are under-represented in the Italian public health system, leading many people to resort to the private sector, resulting in unacceptable wealth discrimination. The difficulty of accessing psychological treatments often entails the use of drug therapies in cases where they are not indicated. Starting from these assumptions, the experts recommended the promotion of better and timely recognition of anxiety and depressive disorders and their classification in terms of symptom intensity and functional impairment, differentiating subthreshold mood swings from clinical forms, to foster outcome studies of psychotherapies in CMDs in Italy, to introduce a stepped care model structured according to levels of intensity of treatment, based on wellbeing support strategies in nonmedical contexts for subthreshold situations, self-help, support and psychoeducation as frontline interventions in mild clinical forms, evidence-based psychotherapies in moderate and severe forms, with the option of combining psychological treatment and appropriate drug therapy in the most severe cases.