The Big Question

Should talking therapies be the future for mental health services?

Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic sons

Good access to talking therapies is helpful in alleviating minor or less serious mental health problems. But for more serious problems you need the full framework of community care services such as psychiatrists and community nurses. Otherwise it could spread resources too thin, creating more problems.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
Everything that can be done to return people to “normality” must surely be a help with depression and anxiety. Having suffered mental health problems for a period myself, I found that everyday activities distracted me from perceived problems.

To this end, talking therapies must help, but not just as a cost-cutting replacement for the human touch.

Eve Rank – Inspired Services
This depends on what the mental health issue is. Some people may need drugs, but often people need both. It should be up to the individual – they should be helped to make self-directed care plans as they often know what is best for themselves when they need treatment. But cuts in services are leading to a less personalised service.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
Sometimes doctors are too quick to medicate patients. Talking therapies would help us to understand people better and help them to understand themselves, such an important part of overcoming mental health problems. Once you give patients medication they can be like zombies – I have seen them wandering wards looking dazed at 8am.


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