Wales needs to talk
Posted Monday 17 January 2011
Today Mind Cymru launches a vital briefing calling for better access to talking treatments (psychological therapies) for people in Wales.
Click here to access the briefingDespite the fact that talking treatments are an effective means of helping people overcome problems including depression and anxiety, people across Wales still face long waiting lists for counselling or other forms of talking treatments.
- Wales is home to seven of the top 10 areas for prescription of antidepressants in England and Wales.1
- Waiting lists for counselling are increasing – a decade ago, the waiting list in one geographical area was 18 months. Recently, this has grown to two years.
Today’s briefing paper – the third in a series of five – calls on all political parties and the next Welsh Assembly Government to invest any savings (made from reducing the amount of prescriptions issued) into training more people to be able to deliver a range of talking treatments. This would help improve access.
Lindsay Foyster, Director of Mind Cymru, said:
We know that across Wales, too many people feel that they have no choice but to turn to anti-depressants when they would have preferred a different option, such as counselling. This is often because of the difficulty in accessing talking treatments and the long waiting times involved.
It’s even more difficult to get access to these treatments if your first language isn’t English.
There is also an important business case to consider. Poor mental health is estimated to cost Wales £7.2 billion a year. Better access to talking treatments can help people gain and keep employment, as well as reducing the number of visits people need to make to their GPs.
Dr Huw Lloyd of The Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales Council said:
The Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales fully supports Mind Cymru in their campaign to improve the access for patients to talking therapies. GPs are not always able to offer their patients the choice of appropriate talking therapies because of the lack of counselling services. These talking therapies can be very effective and many patients would prefer this form of treatment if it were available.
1Prescription Pricing Authority in England and the Prescribing Services Unit in Wales, 2009.
For more information, please contact:
Influence and Change Manager
T: 029 2034 6575
Policy and Social Inclusion Officer
T: 029 2034 6588