Mental health group praises Otley MP’s motion

MP for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland

MP for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland

First published in News

Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has won praise from mental health charity Mind and a national body for tabling a motion calling for better access to psychological therapies.

Mr Mulholland has called for the NHS in England to offer a full range of evidence-based psychological therapies to everyone who needs them within 28 days of requesting a referral and sooner if they are in a crisis.

He also believes that the Government and NHS England urgently need to introduce maximum waiting time standards.

One in ten people are said to be still waiting over a year for access to psychological therapies and three out of five are not given a choice in the therapy they are offered.

The Government has already committed funding which will increase access to psychological therapies, but Mr Mulholland has called for much-needed further investment to improve services.

He says there are significant health and economic benefits to improving psychological therapies and this will ultimately lead to fewer people requiring more costly crisis care services at a later stage.

Mr Mulholland said: “I urge NHS England and the Government to introduce maximum waiting time standards to stop patients having to wait over a year for psychological therapies.

“The Government must ensure that a wider range of therapies are available to meet the needs of communities.

“Improving mental health services and treating mental illness is crucial, and these changes in psychological therapies could reduce the end bill for mental health.”

Mind’s parliamentary manager Louise Kirsh said people with mental health problems can recover, but early intervention is vital.

“Waiting too long for treatment can damage relationships, stop people working, and have long-lasting effects of on people’s health.”

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy chief executive Laurie Clarke also welcomed Mr Mulholland’s Early Day Motion.

He said: “Whilst the IAPT programme has increased access to psychological therapies, the recent We Need to Talk coalition report highlights again the shortcomings in the programme, with one in five people in England still waiting over a year to access psychological therapies and 68 per cent not being offered any choice of therapy.”

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