UKCP Statement: More psychotherapists needed in NHS workforce to meet UK’s looming mental health crisis
Today’s ONS figures predicting that 500,000 additional people may experience mental health problems as a result of COVID-19 are a stark illustration of the profound impact of this pandemic on the nation’s mental health. As we officially enter recession and the end of the furlough scheme draws near, sadly this only stands to worsen in the coming months.
A comprehensive response to this is required from the government and NHS. Existing plans laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan to expand mental health services must be expedited, and further funding is required to ensure talking therapy services – not just medication – are available to all those who need them over the months and years to follow.
This represents a workforce recruitment challenge that can only be solved with the increased deployment of psychotherapists and counsellors, who are specialists in helping people work through depression and whose expertise is significantly underused in existing NHS mental health services.
We urge the government and NHS leaders to work closely with us to help meet this demand.