In the wake of the last election the issue of mental health has risen to the forefront of political issues and the way we handle it in the NHS has become a top government priority. It is estimated that major depression is the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide. One in six people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.

The continuing fight for change

The enormity of the issue of mental health and how we tackle it comes as no surprise to thousands in the UK. They have campaigned for decades for greater awareness of mental health issues and funding for mental health programs. The campaigns address not only the root issues of mental health, but also the stigma and discrimination that surround it.

Campaigns have fought against this discrimination and despite a blooming attitude of acceptance, the toll on those with mental health issues is overwhelming. The movement of social change is a slow beast, with campaigns from media outlets, advertising and educational efforts combining to change the attitudes of the next generation.

Shorter-term and more directly, health foundations are encouraging people to get the right help at the right time. Shocking statistics suggest that over one in five people have been waiting over a year without receiving therapy, having registered through the NHS.

But it isn’t merely the waiting times; every person has different needs. Not all therapy and not all therapists are right for each individual. The element of choice is vital, as it always is out of respect for our individuality, humanity and independence, but especially to those seeking help.

Less than two-thirds of people with severe mental health problems are offered evidence-based psychological therapies. The choice of therapist, time of therapy and routine are all key, but also the type; would you be better suited to individual therapy, group therapy, counselling, or psychotherapy? Are antidepressants the right choice for you?

A very real – but important – cost

No one should have to wait, is a key message. Why should someone have to wait until they are suicidal, or almost beyond help, before they receive it? Prevention, as always, is better than cure.

The effective cost of mental health care in the UK can be totalled to hundreds of billions, but far more important is the immense human cost of not providing such care at all.

For both short and long-term therapy on which you can rely, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced and well-qualified professionals at Portland Practice.