careersnursingEven though talking therapies work for more than half of people who use them, more needs to be done so children and young people are referred far more quickly, warns mental health charity, Mind.

Despite the fact that almost three in four people being referred for talking therapies were aged between 20 and 49, they often have to wait to enter treatment. The longer the delay the greater the risk of becoming unwell and needing further intensive treatment further down the line. Mind found that one in 10 people waited more than a year and more than half waited over three months for an initial assessment, followed by a long delay to begin therapy.

Following publication of data about the government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), revealed that out of 884,000 referrals in 2012/13, half resulted in people having treatment. And out of 144,000 referrals resulted in people having at least two therapy sessions, and 57% of these showed an improvement in their mental health.

Emily Wooster, policy manager at the Mental Health Foundation says: “These statistics indicate that referral to IAPT services is still currently focused on those of working age and more needs to be down to improve access rates for... children and young people.“

Mind is also calling on the NHS in England to offer therapies to everyone who needs them within 28 days of requesting a referral.

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