Friday, December 08, 2006

Chapter 19 - The Future of the NHS

This is a summary of chapter 19 - the future of mental health provision. It was written by Mr Derek Draper, a former political adviser and author of “Blair’s 100 Days” (Faber). He is a psychotherapist in private practice in Marylebone, London and during his training worked as the development director of a community counselling centre in northern California. He is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP). He writes monthly columns in the magazines “Psychologies” and “Therapy Today”.

This chapter Derek concentrates on “sub-clinical” problems; conditions that don’t quite meet the diagnostic criteria for any particular mental disorder, but that nonetheless involve a great deal of psychological or emotional unease. He explores:
1) The changes that would be necessary to make the current system deliver on its existing standards.
2) Reviews the recent proposals for expansion of therapy services, arguing that whilst such changes are welcome, they remain fundamentally inadequate to deal with the scale and depth of the problem.
3) Proposes a new and radical solution of therapeutic volunteers – coining the term “para-counsellors”.

He concludes that current demand is so great that without the new voluntary “para-counsellors”, millions of Britons in need of mental health treatment, will sadly never receive it.
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