Mental health patients in the UK are struggling to get help when they need it while others are waiting for long periods to get medical attention.
New research revealed that almost a quarter of people with mental health problems are waiting for a minimum of three months to start NHS treatment, while others get medical assistance after four years.
There has been a surge in mental health problems during the period of the pandemic and psychiatrists warned this could even lengthen the period patients have to wait for care.
Dr Kate Lovett, the Royal College of Psychiatrists` dean said: “It’s disgraceful that people are waiting years for potentially lifesaving mental health treatment. There would be a public outcry if people were waiting so long for cancer treatment, but for some reason waits for mental health treatment are deemed acceptable.”
Lengthy delays have caused many patients to end up in A&E due to deterioration in mental health.
Based on the findings of the survey, 23% of patients who had to wait after their first assessment for treatment to start at the next consultation had to wait for a period of three months or more to begin treatment.
“My self-harming increased, I stopped going out, would go weeks without showering and lost so much weight as I couldn’t face going shopping,” one man who couldn`t access help for four years after losing his job told the college.
As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, at least £2.3 billion of extra investment a year will be made to support Mental health services, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said.