Let’s discuss what’s wrong
I would like to shed some light on how the NHS support individuals with depression. My views come from not only trying to access the service but from trying to counsel clients.
Usually the client/patient begins by seeing a doctor, most cases the patient/client is prescribed antidepressants and sent on there way. If you research into antidepressants, you’ll find that there is a lot to consider with the side effects.
Antidepressants take two weeks to work and may possibly make you feel worse before feeling better, imagine if the person had suicidal thoughts! With all that, no support is put in place for the two weeks at least, to see how the client is coping or to manage the clients mental wellbeing. There is also conflicting issues with antidepressants as they are meant to be taken for a short period of time, if the reason for depression is not identified then as soon as the medication is stopped the depression will return, in most cases the medication is taken continually with no intention to stop.
The job of the antidepressants is to release serotonin, serotonin in the brain is thought to regulate anxiety, happiness and mood.
Exercise has shown to produce and release serotonin, a 20 minute walk and even a yoga class also can.
I imagine a holistic approach would benefit clients.
When and IF they are referred for counselling, there is usually a minimum of 6 weeks waiting list, it could be longer, again imagine if someone is feeling suicidal?
The other issue I find is that after waiting so long to be seen, the patient is given about 6 sessions with a review at the end, which basically means if you require further counselling you’ll go back on the waiting list and are most likely to be seen by a different counsellor, though this could have its advantages as the new counsellor may pick up on issues that may have been missed by the previous counsellor, the disadvantages are that the client may not have the same therapeutic relationship as they did with the previous counsellor.
For the last session there’s forms to be filled, most of which are basically stats, nothing that will help you to get further priority treatment.
The other situation we have is the use of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), as a fast track to resolving the clients issues and ending the therapy. I admit that CBT is a great tool to use but more alongside another orientation such as psychodynamic therapy, to help the client identify where the issues manifested from.
Counselling sessions are meant to be client led, I can’t help feeling that it’s only client led for 50 minutes of their session, everything else is pretty much out of their control. I wonder if counselling as an ad hoc service will help people more effectively, as opposed to going on a long waiting list and assuming that each client only needs 6 weeks therapy. Some may come for two sessions, some may need imminent help. The NHS counselling service needs a re-structure to address each client for their individual problem. Things effect people in different ways, the 6 weeks of therapy can come across as rejection for one person and a relief for another.
Outside service such as Mind, let’s talk, cahms and other independent counselling services are free but also have a long waiting list.
Private counsellors are a stone throw away, will see you almost straight away or within a week but are costly.
The best kind of therapy is prevention of depression as much as possible by implementing strategies that will help the client before sinking into the dark hole.
Maybe if these strategies were taught in schools this would help change a generation of people with depression lying dormant. The NHS need to bridge the gap between serious and not serious cases but unfortunately it seems that there have been cutbacks making it difficult for the NHS to provide, pushing people to seeking private healthcare, which not everyone can afford, again forgetting about the disadvantaged.
The NHS services are no doubt truly amazing, mainly when you are being seen from the hospital and have bypassed the red tape.
I would like to offer a service for FREE
if you or anyone you know needs to talk please feel free to contact me. I am a trained counsellor.