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More Psychiatrists for the NHS What About Psychotherapists

More Psychiatrists for the NHS What About Psychotherapists

In a recent article I read that there is a significant shortage of psychiatrists across the NHS. There is s shortfall in England, Wales and Scotland. There has been a government pledge to recruit 570 extra consultant psychiatrists by NHS England by 2020-21.

This, of course, is worrying in that yet again we see that resources within the NHS seem not to be getting into mental health provision. However, what I also see as worrying is that there seems to be no discussion about getting more psychotherapists and counsellors into the NHS. What I found particularly interesting is that the photo used by the BBC to highlight this story looked more like a psychotherapeutic intervention rather than a psychiatric one.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is a powerful lobbying organisation as well as being a learned society. This is something that psychotherapists and counsellors could learn from. All too often does the profession find itself on the wrong foot when it comes to this kind of story. The big three professional bodies for psychotherapy and counselling need to be doing more to promote the use of properly trained psychotherapists and counsellors within the NHS.

This ultimately is not only good for the profession, but good for the public. It must be acknowledged that psychiatry, clinical psychology, psychotherapy and counselling are all distinct professions with distinct skill sets. When these three professions work together it can only be a good thing for the public good. Let’s see a push for more mental health professionals in the NHS, be they psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors.

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