National mental health charity Rethink are heading up a campaign, along with other professional bodies, to petition the Government to make talking therapies available to all within 28 days of requesting a referral.
The campaign follows a report published, called ‘We still need to talk’. The report tells us that a third of people with the most severe mental illnesses are not offered talking therapy by the NHS, despite evidence showing it can help prevent psychosis and aid recovery. From our experience, the majority of clients who have had access to talking therapies have found them of some benefit, many of great benefit. Yet one in five people with a severe mental illness are waiting over a year to get psychological therapy. So why does it take so long to get referred in the first place and why are the waiting lists so long? We all know that budget cuts and the like have affected all Government funded services but it feels as though mental health is getting a raw deal. The result of this is that people are not getting the help they need, ending up in psychiatric wards which actually costs far more!!
The Chief Exec of the NHS, David Nicholson, has already agreed to introduce waiting times for psychological therapies but we think if we all get involved this will happen faster! So, along with other mental health charities, we are asking you to help by joining the campaign and signing the petition. We wouldn’t accept a wait of over 12 months for a physical health problem and its time to make a stand, because it should be no different for mental illness.