Psychiatrist Vacancies On The Rise
Psychiatric vacancies have doubled in the past four years. This is not the first time that the Royal College of Psychiatrists have been talking about this crisis in psychiatrist numbers. The discussion is centred around the recruitment of more psychiatrists and to train more doctors to specialise in psychiatry.
This is of course one way to look at it. I would choose to add a different dimension to this discussion. Psychiatry is important of course, however, the NHS has a resource that they are not tapping into which could make this situation easier.
There are thousands of psychotherapists and counsellors who could step into the hole left by the lack of psychiatrists. Of course, the majority of psychotherapists are not medically trained, but much of mental health work does not require medical intervention. Many with mental health issues need to be heard and have their narrative heard and listened to without judgement and with professional distance.
The NHS needs to recognis that there is a skilled set of professionals who can assist in the mental health crisis in this country. We need a joined up approach to mental health treatment, which includes, psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists & counsellors. With a joined up approach, we stand a far better chance of tackling this crisis in public health effectively.