Mind campaigns for choice of treatment

Mental health charity Mind has launched My
Choice, a campaign aimed at increasing the level of choice
available to mental health service users at primary care level.

Results from a Mind survey show that 98 per
cent of people visiting their GP for mental health problems are
prescribed medication despite less than one in five specifically
asking for it. More than half of the 178 respondents felt they had
not been given enough choice and of those who had tried alternative
treatments, more than one in three had to ask for it – and often
pay for it – themselves. Nearly 10 per cent were unable to access
treatments because waiting lists were too long.

The top five alternatives to medication are
counselling; group therapy; art, music and drama therapy;
psychotherapy; and aromatherapy. Richard Brook, chief executive of
Mind, said the charity would distribute a model of the range of
services it would like to see made available to doctors and primary
care trusts.

Meanwhile, older people’s charities have
welcomed a report criticising the state of mental health services
for older people and have called for urgent action to be taken on
its recommendations. Forget Me Not 2002, published last
week by the Audit Commission (Community Care, page 32, 21
February), finds that mental health services across the UK are
inconsistent, with many areas still having to do a lot to meet
national service framework requirements.

Forget Me Not 2002: Developing
Mental Health Services for Older People in England
, Audit
Commission, February 2002

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