The more mentally unwell you are, the longer you wait for care, according to a new damning report by charity Rethink Mental Illness.
People with lifelong, severe and complex conditions like schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder are waiting an average of 14 weeks for an assessment, leaving some feeling suicidal.
The report, entitled Right Treatment, Right Time was published on 19 November setting out the problem and the solution, according to those affected and professionals on ground.
In a survey Rethink Mental Illness carried out with 1,602 people with, or caring for someone with, a mental illness:
- 28% were not referred to an appropriate service by their GP
- 56% did not receive treatment in the appropriate time
- 51% found they did not receive treatment for a sufficient and appropriate length of time
- 20 people said they had thought about suicide following inadequate treatment for their mental health conditions
Kay, who took part in the survey, said: “I’ve been in recovery since 2013 and I’m now tired and suicidal. I want counselling, someone to talk to without judgement, but I was told that counsellors don’t like to take on people with my diagnosis, which is borderline personality disorder. I’m struggling with rejection and loneliness as it is. This in itself makes me more suicidal and dead inside.”
Brian Dow, deputy CEO at Rethink Mental Illness said: “What we want is right treatment, right time but what we too often have is wrong treatment, too late. Thousands of people find themselves in desperate situations every year, but have to contend with long waits, bureaucracy, and a severe lack of choice about their care. The result is that far too many people reach crisis point before getting help.”
Please visit the Rethink Mental Illness website to read the report in full.