Only 25% of People with a Mental Illness Get Help
June 18, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
A report claims millions of pounds are being wasted by not addressing the real cause of many people’s health problems.
Talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy relieves anxiety and depression in 40% of those treated, says the report by the Mental Heath Policy Group led by Lord Layard. But despite government funding to train more therapists, NHS commissioners are not spending the money as intended.
“It is a real scandal that we have 6 million people with depression or crippling anxiety conditions and 700,000 children with problem behaviours, anxiety or depression,” says the report. “Yet three quarters of each group get no treatment.”
The report suggests that if local NHS commissioners want to improve their budget they should be expanding their provision of psychological therapy. The existing cost effective treatment only receives 13% of NHS expenditure.
It is reported that a third of families have a member of their family suffering from mental health. Also mental health problems account for nearly half of absenteeism at work. Depression is 50% more disabling than conditions like angina, arthritis, asthma or diabetes.
Lord Layard said that in the long term he said he would like to see psychologists and therapists working alongside physical medicine doctors in the acute sector, to help determine the real cause of people’s apparently inexplicable symptoms. He believes treating mental illness will save the NHS money because a lot of people visiting doctors have reported somatic symptoms linked to mental health.
By Talia Rose Hughes
[Image courtesy of Alaina Abplanalp Photography]