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Young wait three years for mental health treatment

14th October 2010

New evidence from mental health charity Mind has suggested that some people with mental health problems are having to wait up to three years to talk to a counsellor.

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Much of the problem is dependent on where people live.

Now, 10 leading doctors groups and charities have joined a campaign to get rid of the postcode lottery and they want everyone to be able to get the right sort of counselling they need within 28 days of asking.

Mind says three quarters of sufferers first start to get problems when they are under 25.

While Mind acknowledges there have been improvements in some parts of the country, there are areas where it has got much worse.

The charity’s Colin Walker said: “While you may get to talk to a counsellor within days in one area - if you live just down the road you could have to wait three years, and that is not acceptable.”

Family doctors have also expressed concerns that they are having to prescribe antidepressants rather than refer patients to a counsellor.

In recent years, and particularly with the economic recession, demand for talking therapies has increased.

Mr Walker added: “Under-25s go through so much change. Relationships start and finish, you may leave home, struggle with university and finding work, especially now.

“We need to make sure the right help is there for everyone within a month of them asking for it.”

The new coalition government announced a further £70 million towards improving the situation in June.

 

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