Mental Health Sinkhole Appears – Untold Casualties

 

 

Mental Health Trusts today announced that three quarters of extra monies promised for mental health services are not getting through. A mental health sinkhole has appeared, the depth of which is measured by under-funding and the width by poor quality services. Casualties include an estimated 694,000 people who were treatment failures in the Government funded IAPT service in 2014/2015, 85% of those treated. A further one third of those referred to IAPT did not enter treatment.

I reviewed the trajectories of 65 people who went through IAPT Services in the North West of England using a ‘gold standard’ diagnostic interview just 15% recovered from their disorder. [ Scott (2017) Towards a Mental Health System that Works London: Routledge].  I am wholly independent of IAPT and I made the analysis on the basis of data available to me as an Expert Witness to the Court. Applying this recovery rate to the national picture suggests a massive casualty rate.

Just this past week I picked up a ‘casualty’ who had had 6 sessions with IAPT, she had had a fall 2 years ago, become effectively housebound, though able to walk for 10-15 mins. She was referred to IAPT and had 6 sessions of CBT for depression, to no avail and she was very frustrated by the therapist who had said ‘do you think you might have OCD?’ one week then the next week ‘what about body dysmorphic disorder?’.  No further treatment was offered. I  found she was depressed  but what had not been identified or addressed was that she had a phobia about falling and sustaining further injury. It was this phobia that was driving the depression and needed to be the therapeutic focus.

Dr Mike Scott

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