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When Wait Times for Mental Health Services Are Too Long

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I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve found waiting times for mental health services to be a bit of a nightmare.

There’s nothing worse than having to go through all the rigmarole of paying your general practitioner a visit (when you can finally get an appointment) only to have them write to your local mental health services (which is another waiting game), so you can get a letter from them (maybe a few weeks later) stating than in another ‘X’ amount of weeks your appointment (which you may not be able to attend) will finally be here. In my experience, this whole process from start to finish can take months. Not good when you’re suffering from a mental health condition.

And I’m not alone.

Recently, an increasing number of people are seeking and gaining access to treatment. But, because there aren’t enough mental health providers to meet the demand, we sometimes have to wait.

For some people, it can be a distressing not knowing where to turn or what can be done while you’re waiting, especially when you’re in this in-between space of being too well for the hospital, but not well enough to be home. And the longer someone in need of mental health services has to wait, the greater likelihood that the patient will miss the appointment. In my experience, this can make you grow frustrated and start to mistrust the system that’s supposed to help you. 

Something needs to be done. Something needs to change. We need to not only raise awareness for mental health conditions, but also for what needs change in our mental health system. I, no doubt like many others, dream of a day where mental health care is more accessible, and more people will be fulfilling their lives rather than taking them.

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Originally published: March 4, 2016
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