Mental health referrals hit record high

New analysis suggests that the number of referrals for NHS mental health support in the UK has reached a record high. It is suggested that there were 4.3 million referrals to mental health services in England alone in 2021.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists also suggests that the pandemic has left an unprecedented demand that the NHS services are struggling to meet. The body has also alerted that this issue is becoming an increasingly impossible situation to manage.

Although the NHS is working through these referred patients, there are still 1.4 million people still waiting for treatment.

Dr Adrian James the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists clarifies this urgent need for mental health care: “The warning of the long tail of mental ill health caused by the pandemic has not been heeded. Many thousands of people will be left waiting far too long for the treatment they need unless the government wakes up to the crisis that is engulfing the country.”

While the number of referrals do not equate to the number of people in need of care – some people might have overlapping referrals for different services – it shows a increasing demand for mental health support services.

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