NHS Campaign

To encourage the NHS to offer a wider range of treatments and therapies for mental health primary care, and to bring parity with treatment for physical health.

We are currently in a mental health crisis, where people are struggling to get the help and support they need when suffering with mental health disorders.

The current NHS system is limited, and reaching breaking point, which is pushing more and more people to crisis point.

Click on the button to lend your support, spread the word, and to try and help save people’s lives.

I have carried out research to try and understand the extent of the problem; here are the main points that highlight the failings of the current system:

  1. The consensus is that the current NHS primary care system is under pressure, at breaking point, and struggling to cope.
  2. The NHS currently only recommends prescribed medication, CBT, and counselling as primary care treatments for basic mental health disorders.
  3. Medication can help; however it comes with a long list of potentially dangerous side-effects, and a risk of addiction (I started having night terrors whilst on Sertraline).
  4. Counselling and IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services are limited to a handful of sessions; in my experience it was ten sessions each, which is just not adequate.
  5. The IAPT are the only primary care option, and they only focus on talking therapies like CBT.
  6. The IAPT are struggling to retain staff.  
  7. An IAPT report showed that in 2019/20, 1.69 million people were referred to their services; of those referrals 1.17 million people started treatment; 606,192 people completed a course of treatment; 51.1% of people were moved to recovery.  What happens to the 500,000+ people who don’t recover?  
  8. Reports, such as The NHS Five Year Plan show that the focus is all on expanding IAPT services and a community-based approach.  There is nothing about exploring and researching other therapies.  It means that primary care has become a postcode lottery.
  9. While the reports say they want to give people choice and the best chance of recovery, the opposite is true.  The current recommendations are all based on what the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) thinks and approves, and their approach is too blinkered which results in trying to implement a one size fits all approach.  It does not offer choice to people.
  10. There is no parity between physical health and mental health, treatment options for illnesses such as cancer are in place for as long as required, for mental health the limit is to a handful of sessions.  Imagine if you were restricted to 10 sessions of chemotherapy and once these were complete you were left on your own whether you were in remission or not?

“An IAPT service manager told us that IAPT is good at what it does: helping people with mild to moderate cases of anxiety and depression. It was not designed for adults who are severely affected by mental illness, older people or those with addictions and there is too little alternative provision for these groups.”

Progress of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health: On the road to parity 2018

I have done lots of reading and research to try and help me manage and understand my mental illness, and I have found that there are numerous other treatments that could be beneficial for us, especially those in the early stages of mental illness; these include EFT, meditation, mindfulness, acupuncture, Reiki, Shiatsu, Aromatherapy, massage therapy, forest bathing, reflexology, and many more.  There are also benefits in nutrition and exercise.  

Why aren’t these therapies and treatments available?  Because NICE only work on ‘evidence-based’ criteria, and they don’t seem interested in exploring any other options.  Sadly, they would rather stick with one option that can have potentially harmful side-effects, and another that only works 50% of the time.

I believe we should have more choice; a lot of complementary medicine has less risks than medication.  Yes, it can take longer to see the benefits, but anything must be better than being left to struggle alone.

By broadening the approach to primary care, the door would be open to an army of trained therapists who could help relieve the pressure on NHS staff.

“There are nearly 80,000 healthcare professionals on accredited registers in the UK, representing a huge workforce with potential to make a significant contribution to promoting and protecting the public’s health”

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Professional Standards Authority

If action is not taken then more and more of us will reach crisis point, not only does this put more pressure on the NHS, but more importantly, it means that people’s lives are in danger.

Thank you for your support.

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