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RSCPP welcomes the Chief Medical Officer's report on mental health

by Richard Snowdon
Tuesday 16 September 2014
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RSCPP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Snowdon is a Former British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Accredited Psychotherapist in the NHS, private and charity sectors.

On Tuesday 9 September the Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, launched a report on the state of our national mental health service, criticising the lack of emphasis on mental healthcare and cuts to funding for treatment. 

We welcome the Chief Medical Officer's report on mental health. It brings back into focus the need for mental health provision to be prioritised, and for the introduction of targets for NHS waiting times. Long waiting lists mean mental health problems may persist or worsen while clients remain without treatment. Early intervention is important, and therefore it is part of what we offer.

Early intervention is important, and therefore it is part of what we offer.

Our clients often tell us they turn to RSCPP because they can't wait on an NHS list that's going nowhere fast. Stephanie said: "Finally! Given an NHS waiting list of a year for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for my son – therapy which he urgently needs – it's a great relief to find that this website was so informative. I'd been trying to find a suitable therapist for weeks but the help was very quick once I found this."  

The report states that mental health problems cause 28% of illness, yet only accounts for 13% of the NHS budget. We have always known how important mental health is because we see how it affects people every day. NHS bosses now need to shift their perception and treat mental health with the same importance as physical health.

The Chief Medical Officer is concerned with people falling out of work and getting them back to work. Work has many important benefits, but it can also be a source of stressors, which exasperate mental health problems. Therapy should always be neutral, focused on what is appropriate for each client, not an agenda of trying to get them back to a job which may no longer be right for them. A client may want a different job, or to return to study or travel. People with mental health problems need good services, just as people with physical illnesses do, regardless of whether they are working or not.

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Updated 10 December 2014