20 leading mental health organisations call for better access to psychological therapy

* Commitment to increasing access to psychological therapy for children and adults urgently needed in every party manifesto.

* We Need To Talk also calls for shorter waiting times, better quality provision, and joined up services.

* Despite NHS targets increasing, most people with mental health issues still can’t access therapy.

Ahead of the General Election on the 8 June 2017, We Need To Talk, a coalition of 20 mental health charities, professional organisations, Royal Colleges and service users has issued an urgent plea for more access to psychological therapies on the NHS.

We Need To Talk is calling for increased access to services and greater capacity, a maximum 28 day waiting time target, quality services - including more therapy sessions, more choice, and properly trained therapists - and joined up services to stop people getting lost between child and adult services.

The NHS target to provide psychological therapy to those with common mental health conditions is set to rise to 25 per cent by 2020 (from 15 percent), but most people still won’t be helped. Even in cases of severe mental illness, like psychosis, around half of people do not receive psychological therapy or have to wait over six and even 12 weeks to receive the care they need.

Vicky Parkinson, CEO of the National Counselling Society says:

"There has never been a greater need for access to talking therapy, especially among young people. What is currently available on the NHS, while valuable for some, falls far short of what our society needs. People need a choice of quality treatments, including counselling, delivered by practitioners on an Accredited Register."

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