Right treatment, right time
A survey conducted by Rethink Mental Key Illness of over 1,600 people on their experiences of care and treatment shows that people severely affected by mental illness are often waiting the longest for treatment and receiving the worst care.
For the first time, our 'Right treatment, right time' report sets out a clear picture of the significant gap in access to health services for people severely affected by mental illness.
This survey of over 1,600 people shows that the extreme challenges we have experienced as individuals and families are part of a bigger problem. The findings speak for themselves: people are waiting over three months for an assessment alone and over six months for treatment to begin.
This cannot go on. It is an injustice that people who are the most unwell are waiting the longest and frequently receiving poor quality care and treatment.
Fundamentally, core mental health services, such as community mental health teams cannot cope with demand, leaving many people with mental health
problems to fall through the gaps.
Our report (launched in November), found:
- The average waiting time for an assessment was 14 weeks
- One in twenty people had waited more than a year
- One in three people asked for a service that they were told was unavailable
- Over a quarter of people felt they were referred to a service that was not appropriate to support their mental health
- Just over half those asked felt they recieved support for a sufficient and appropriate time
- Over 20 people had thought about or attempted suicide due to the lack of services
Behind each of these numbers is a real person whose life and family is being devastated. Due to a lack of quality services, more people are likely to reach crisis point and lives are unacceptably being put at risk.
We will continue to report on the progress to parity of esteem for people living with mental illnesses. Following the long-term plan, we will work to establish a realistic target date and a measure progress towards it each year – and listen to the voices of those affected.