Mental health charity Mind is calling for people with chronic
mental health problems to be exempt from prescription charges after
a survey revealed that many shell out a significant amount each
month on treating their illness.
A survey of 455 people with diagnosed mental health problems shows
that almost two-thirds had paid an average of £68 a month for
care or treatment.
Nearly half had paid for care or treatment which had been
prescribed by their doctor. The average spent was £37 each
month, but some spent £100 or more.
The most common expenses were drugs and medication, followed by
complementary therapies and counselling or therapy.
The report by Mind and consumer magazine Health Which?
states that, even though mental health has been declared a key
priority for the NHS, people are not receiving the care and
treatment they need and “are paying, literally, with their
Mind chief executive Richard Brook accused the NHS of “selling
people with mental health problems short”.
He said: “People with enduring mental health problems should not be
paying out of their own pockets for essential care and treatment.”
Mind has called on the government to add continuing mental health
problems to the limited list of chronic conditions exempt from
prescription charges and invest in increasing the numbers of
counsellors and therapists able to deliver talking
– The Hidden Costs of Mental Health from www.mind.org.uk