In light of general election that has been called for 8 June, UKCP – the umbrella organisation for psychotherapy and psychotherapists – is calling on political parties to commit to a significant increase in funding for mental health and psychotherapy in particular. UKCP want to see an extra £1.5 billion going into the budget for psychotherapy and for that to be ring-fenced. At present psychotherapy is highly rationed in the NHS, with long waiting lists and what the UKCP’s campaign refers to as a ‘quick fix approach to care’. This often means that very short term CBT or medication rather than psychotherapy of adequate quality and depth. The problem with quick fixes is they don’t work and leave those in need stuck in a revolving door – forced to return repeatedly in an effort to obtain effective treatment.
UKCP has costed its proposals – and has produced a research briefing explaining why they are asking for £1.5 billion and what services this would provide. There has been a considerable increase in public discussion about mental health recently – which can only be good in tackling stigma. But this needs backed up by hard cash if its going to lead to meaningful change in many people’s lives. UKCP’s work is well timed and can be supported on social media, by blogging and promoting it (like this) and by directly contacted your parliamentary candidates and political parties seeking precise support.