Patients on Mental health waiting lists are being left in limbo whilst they wait for their first appointment.
Some NHS mental health services such as ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ which provide therapy, such as counselling, to adults with conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety aim to see 9 in 10 patients within 28 days.
However, that one in ten leftover face longer initial wait periods and many then face further challenges for regular treatment.
Many patients get transferred between services or completely left in the dark when trying to get an urgent appointment.
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— Samaritans (@samaritans) December 9, 2019
Katie, aged 23, is a student in Salford and has experienced these staggering periods of waiting for services such as cognitive behavior therapy, which helps you through talking about your feelings and how they are related to your problems and what can be done.
“I waited from February till August for an initial assessment appointment where I was seen by a CBT counselor. It’s been a very long drawn out process because no one should have to wait nearly 8 months to see someone, especially when they’re in a bad way.”
Katie explained that her mental health deteriorated when waiting to be seen.
When the wait times are so drastic, many turn to independent organisations for help. Katie found 42nd Street.
“There are a lot of services out there that people don’t necessarily know such as 42nd street in Manchester which is a charity that mostly helps youths and young adults in Manchester with mental health issues but how do people learn about that because its not very widely known.”
— 42nd Street (@42ndStreetmcr) November 28, 2019
Katie gave some final words of wisdom for anyone seeking help.
“It’s really difficult because making that first step is always the hardest but making that first step is important whether its involving your family members or going to the doctors and saying I need help and you need to keep going to get the care that you need.”
We reached out to the local commissioning groups and are awaiting a response.