The 2017 Community Mental Health Survey revealed that less people are receiving the help they need when experiencing a mental health crisis than in 2014.
The survey, conducted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which obtained feedback from more than 12,000 participants, found that over a quarter of respondents (26%) said that they did not get the help they needed when in a mental health crisis.
Furthermore, only 39% of respondents who knew who to contact and tried to do so when having a mental health crisis received the help they needed – down from 45% in 2014.
Responding to the findings, Catherine Gamble, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Professional Lead for mental health, said: ‘It’s very worrying that many of the findings in this survey have not improved since the last time it was carried out in 2014. It is of particular concern that the percentage of patients who said they didn’t get the help they needed in a crisis has gone up by a quarter, from 21% in 2014 to 26% this year.’
While the lack of assistance given to crisis care is a concern, there were some positive results borne out of the survey. Around two-thirds (64%) of respondents reported a ‘positive experience of overall care’, and 1 in 5 said that they had a ‘very good experience’ – up slightly from 2014.
Despite this, a higher proportion of people who needed help in a crisis situation were dissatisfied compared to in 2014.
Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at Mind, said: ‘The care people with mental health problems receive in their communities is crucial to keeping them well, and reducing the risk of them needing more intensive and expensive care further down the line.
‘For too long, we’ve seen little or no improvement in people’s experiences of care, with some areas actually getting worse.’