Escalation in mental health issues is cause for concern

Mental health issues in the UK seem to be getting worse and it is affecting policing with Commander Richard Smith, head of safeguarding at the Metropolitan Police Service, saying one in four Londoners would experience ‘a diagnosable mental health condition’ in their lifetime and that included the ‘large number of people’ held in custody who would need an assessment and a care plan.

And, speaking to the BBC, Labour’s police spokeswoman Louise Haigh MP said people on long waiting lists for mental health help were turning to the police as a service of last resort. Calls to the Metropolitan Police about mental health have risen by almost a third in five years, figures show. There were 115,000 calls with a mental health element to London’s police force in the 12 months to July.

“While facing a savage cut in numbers the police are increasingly being asked to pick up the pieces of a scandalous lack of mental health provision,” Haigh said.

The BBC reported that call-outs included to people involved in or suspected of crime, those in crisis, support to other emergency services and local council health assessments. Forty thousand of the calls had a police unit assigned – or sent out – to them, the detail showed.

A Department of Health spokesperson said there had been ‘major improvements’ to mental health support in recent years – including setting up access and waiting standards and increasing spending to £11.6bn in 2016/17. But the spokesperson said there was ‘more to do’ and the government was working with NHS England to improve access to services across the country.

And this is where clinical hypnotherapy can play a crucial role as it can effectively treat issues like stress and anxiety which may lead to depression and other mental health issues.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, with more than 1,800 qualified therapists on its directory across the UK, is the largest not-for-profit professional organisation for clinical hypnotherapy in the country and is well-placed to provide help where the NHS and other services may not cope.

Says the NCH: “Hypnotherapy is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide, but which is often misunderstood by the public. It is important to understand that hypnotherapy is not a magic pill.It requires that the client be committed to change and prepared to make the effort to make that change a reality.”

While clinical hypnotherapy is not readily available through the NHS, the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is the UK’s voluntary regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners that was set up with government support to protect the public by providing a UK voluntary register of complementary therapists.

The CNHC’s register has been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. This means CNHC has met the Professional Standards Authority’s demanding standards.

The CNHC has agreed that the National Council for Hypnotherapy may verify applications for CNHC registration and the NCH encourages its members to register in order to gain the CNHC quality mark.

Referring to mental health issues, the NCH says: “More and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.

“You may be one of those people but are now ready to explore ways of freeing yourself from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life – free to do things that bring you joy. A hypnotherapist can help assess your anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship.”

Mental health co-ordinator for the College of Policing Inspector Michael Brown told the BBC: “It is critical that we have effective partnerships with health care providers so that we better understand the reasons why people with mental health issues are coming into contact with officers.”