Charity demands cut in waits

As many as half of those people who experienced their first
episode of psychosis at the end of 2001 and early 2002 have still
not received any specialist help, the operations director of mental
health charity Rethink told delegates.

Andrew Higby said that on 21 November 2001, 100 people would
have experienced their first psychotic episode, but 50 of them
would still not have received specialist assistance to this

Of those who did get help, 35 per cent would have been turned
away on the basis they were “not ill enough” and 50 per cent would
have been subjected to compulsory treatment as their first
experience of care.

In addition, two people would have committed suicide, and
another five to seven would be likely to do so in the next three
years. People were unable to get help until they were so ill that
being sectioned was the only realistic option. “Compulsion should
be a last resort not the first experience,” he said.

– Rethink Week takes place between 20 and 30 June,

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