Charities unite to support call for talking therapies for all who need them on the NHS
Posted Sunday 18 June 2006
Press release: Mind, Rethink, MHF, SCMH
The NHS should invest in the treatment that its own advisory body has already recommended it provides to people with three of the most common mental health conditions, the leaders of four major national charities said today.
Welcoming a report from the London School of Economics calling for National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on depression, anxiety and schizophrenia to be implemented in full, the chief executives of Mind, Rethink, the Mental Health Foundation and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health issued a joint statement today:
"Access to evidence-based talking therapies for those who need them should be as big a priority for the NHS as any other proven and cost-effective treatment.
NICE guidance has approved CBT for depression, some forms of anxiety and for schizophrenia on seven occasions yet it is still scarce and subject to waiting times that would be unacceptable for any other form of specialist treatment on the NHS.
We call upon the NHS to implement NICE guidance on mental health and to invest urgently in sufficient capacity to offer people the treatment they need in a timely manner and to high quality standards.
The Government has taken a first step to this through its Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. It should now take the next steps by requiring PCTs to implement existing NICE guidance and publishing waiting times data for psychological therapies. Only then will people with mental health problems have any kind of equality with everyone else in the NHS."
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind
Angela Greatley, Chief Executive, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation
Cliff Prior, Chief Executive, Rethink
The LSE's Depression Report - published on Monday 19 June 2006 - urges that psychological therapy should be made available to all people suffering from depression, chronic anxiety and schizophrenia. The authors of the report - the Centre for Economic Performance's Mental Health Policy Group, led by Lord Professor Richard Layard - say there should be a proper psychological therapy service in every part of the country by 2013.
A recent survey by Pulse magazine found waiting times for psychological therapies approved by NICE were often a year or longer. It is estimated that this is the least well implemented NICE guidance to date.