The 123GP campaign is arguing for timely and easy access to counselling for everyone who needs it. Right now, ease of access depends completely on where you live. People can wait months for an appointment and, for some, this could be a matter of life and death.
Mental health counselling here is a Cinderella service, totally underfunded and badly managed. Often the only option available to GPs is to prescribe medication and, indeed, the budget for antidepressants is rising year on year.
We need counselling services that are easily accessible. Nobody should wait longer than 28 days to be seen and the Health Minister has the power to make this happen. In July, he will publish a 10-year Mental Health Strategy — we need to see firm commitments in this Strategy to counselling, in line with the Consensus on Counselling Statement, which has widespread political and civic society support.
We have less than three months to make this happen.
What you can do
Sharing your own experience of counselling, good or bad, will help us convince the Minister to fix access to counselling now. Use the form below to send us your stories. Together we can demand a counselling service that’s fair. The thousands of people experiencing emotional and psychological distress depend on it.