New psychotherapy services cannot arrive fast enough
Posted Friday 8 February 2008
Responding to Nick Clegg's speech on waiting times for mental health services, Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "These figures give us a flavour of the postcode lottery faced by people seeking help for the most common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Three years is too long to make someone wait for help that could transform their life, possibly even save their life. "Data on waiting times for mental health services isn't routinely collected or published. Without proper monitoring and targets, it's far too easy for mental health services to be sidelined. Nine out of ten GPs say they're forced to prescribe antidepressants because waiting lists for the recommended talking treatments are so long in many areas. "The Government's recent injection of money to improve access to psychological therapies is an excellent first step, but so far they have only made a commitment to reach half the country. We need a guarantee that there will be prompt access to mental health care for everyone who needs it, regardless of where they live. Meanwhile, though, talking treaments should be a priority for all primary care trusts. Scrimping on basic mental health services is a false economy. If someone can't get help when they first need it, their health will deteriorate, and they will require more intensive care later on." Would you like to share your story to help Mind's campaign for talking treatments? Email email@example.com if you've had to wait for therapy and would be willing to speak out about your experiences. Mind is a member of the We Need To Talk campaign for better access to talking treatments.