abuse: recent publications

I 'Ghosted' My Therapist, but This Reveals a Deeper Problem With the UK's Free Mental Health Services

Living in the United Kingdom has its benefits, chief of which would be the free health care offered by the National Health Service (NHS). I don’t have to worry about health insurance (unless I want to seek private health care, more on that later). I don’t have to worry if I have an emergency, as any surgery or other treatment is free. Prescription medication, routine scans, therapy — everything is free for me, and I feel incredibly privileged to have access to free health care. However, this comes with limitations that some may not consider — limitations that led to ghosting my therapist.

I’m not proud of it. I know I could’ve handled the situation better, and I am in no way advocating for this method of “breaking up with a therapist.” However, what happened reveals the reality of millions of people living in the U.K. Private therapy (and private health care, in general) will always be a stronger option for those who can afford it.

To begin, here’s a little context on how therapy works through the health service. After the initial round of speaking to a doctor, I was referred to the community mental health team (CMHT) for assessment through a psychiatrist. Then, a referral is made for therapy, prescriptions are written, and you’re left to figure it all out from there. Then comes the waiting game.

According to data released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2020, two-fifths of patients waiting for mental health treatment were forced to resort to emergency or crisis services. They also found that of those on a hidden waiting list — that is, the wait between referral and second appointments — “nearly two-thirds (64%) wait more than four weeks between their initial assessment and second appointment. One in four (23%)

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abuse: Readers Choice

Living in the United Kingdom has its benefits, chief of which would be the free health care offered by the National Health Service (NHS). I don’t have to worry about health insurance (unless I want to seek private health care, more on that later). I don’t have to worry if I have an emergency, as any surgery or other treatment is free. Prescription medication, routine scans, therapy — everything is free for me, and I feel incredibly privileged to have access to free health care. However, this comes with limitations that some may not consider — limitations that led to ghosting my therapist.
I wish I weren’t having to type this, but abuse and trauma are not something to mock. Ever.

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