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AIBU?

To think that people should consider paying for MH services?

103 replies

DoodlePug · 05/10/2022 14:51

First of all, of course I think it is wrong that you can not access services on the NHS.

Secondly, yes I know there is a cost of living crisis and people have even less spare money than they used to.

However, we are where we are and I feel some people don't prioritise their mental health as much as their physical health. I know plenty of people who pay for private physio which they should be able to access on the NHS, and for hip/knee operations because the list is too long yet the same people are waiting months/years for assessment and treatment for MH conditions which invariably get worse.

Obviously if you can't pay you can't pay, but is 2 weeks in the sun really better for your health than 20 counselling sessions which could well help to alleviate your anxiety/depression?

If someone is choosing between treatment for their elbow and their anxiety why does the elbow always win?

Is it just a societal thing? Do we not value our MH as much as our physical health? Or is there still a stigma and you feel good for seeing a physio but bad for seeing a counsellor?

Genuinely perplexed why people who could afford it and have shown an inclination to spend on private physical care won't do the same when it's mental care. Would love to hear your thoughts.


And if anyone is looking for a counsellor the bacp register is a good place to start.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

200 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
76%
You are NOT being unreasonable
25%
flamingogold · 05/10/2022 14:55

Loads of people do pay because the number of counselling sessions available on the NHS have such a huge waiting list or there are so few sessions. I don't understand why you think they don't.

I suspect people who don't pay for mental health support but need it either can't afford to do so, or decide that it isn't that big a deal and they can cope until they really really cant, at which point it is too late for many private interventions.

rageapplied · 05/10/2022 14:56

flamingogold · 05/10/2022 14:55

Loads of people do pay because the number of counselling sessions available on the NHS have such a huge waiting list or there are so few sessions. I don't understand why you think they don't.

I suspect people who don't pay for mental health support but need it either can't afford to do so, or decide that it isn't that big a deal and they can cope until they really really cant, at which point it is too late for many private interventions.

This.

Kendodd · 05/10/2022 14:58

I'm not actually sure if 20 counselling sessions is better for your mental health than two weeks in the sun.

mynameiscalypso · 05/10/2022 14:58

But a huge number of people do. My psychiatrist runs a private mental health clinic and they can't recruit enough staff for the demand. They have to turn patients away because they're fully booked for months and months (both psychiatrists and psychologists/counsellors).

Gingernaut · 05/10/2022 14:59

The very people who need these services, are often the very people least able to pay.

TheSausageKingofChicago · 05/10/2022 15:00

What are you basing this on OP? Lots of people pay privately for MH services. I’d like to see your figures of the numbers of people who pay for private physio vs private counselling. I’m not convinced that more people pay for physical healthcare but ignore mental health needs in favour of ‘two weeks in the sun’.

Many people just don’t have the money to pay for private medical treatment of any sort, and financial difficulties will only compound any MH problems that are there.

KitchiHuritAngeni · 05/10/2022 15:01

My ds got the 6 counselling sessions after a year and a half wait on the NHS.

After that I worked 4 jobs as a single parent to pay for it privately, and it ran me into the ground, I had to quit some of my jobs, kept up the sessions, nearly got evicted because I prioritised it. Eventually covid hit, I got cancer and he had to stop altogether.

There isn't a clear end to paying privately for it, whereas with a physical health condition there mostly is.

BeanCounterBabe · 05/10/2022 15:01

YABU.I know far more people who have paid for MH support than physical health support, myself included.

megletthesecond · 05/10/2022 15:01

Yabu. Counsellors cost a fortune, at least £40 a session. Who can afford that month in, month out? I spent some of my emergency funds on two months of counselling but had to stop there. That sort of thing is needed weekly, long term.

LakieLady · 05/10/2022 15:01

I have a friend who spends her PIP on counselling, because the max you can get on the NHS here is 12 sessions.

She also uses her son's DLA to pay for psychotherapy for him.

Fishandchipsupper · 05/10/2022 15:03

We’re heading for the same sort of division that not having a universal child benefit is causing.
once those people who can afford to go private stop using the NHS. The government will really send the NHS into an underfunded nosedive. Things in society are always better when everyone has access to it and uses it.

MbatataOwl · 05/10/2022 15:03

Many people pay for mental health care as what is available on the NHS is absolutely shockingly crap. I don't know anyone that can afford to pay that doesn't.

SpinningOutWaitinForYa · 05/10/2022 15:04

Huh? Where did you get the idea that people don't? Private and NHS are overwhelmed.

Fishandchipsupper · 05/10/2022 15:04

We need the noisy classes to agitate for better funding for all. NHS facilities

DoodlePug · 05/10/2022 15:05

I am just basing this on anecdotal evidence, as I said in original post. I know plenty of people who have paid for private physical treatment but are waiting for NHS counselling.

I obviously know a different demographic of people to you.

And also as I said in the original post, if you can't pay you can't pay. I was asking about those who could afford to pay.

OP posts:
FlibbertyGiblets · 05/10/2022 15:05

I paid for a series of bereavement counselling sessions organised through my GP 18 years ago. 30 quid a session. There was nothing available if I didn't pay. I was ill, we needed me to be better, so we stumped up the cash. It was a scrabble as at the time we had two young children.

Do you have a someone in mind, OP, whose situation has prompted your musings today?

JustAnotherPoster00 · 05/10/2022 15:06

OP you are David Davis and I claim my £5

Verytirednow · 05/10/2022 15:06

Gingernaut · 05/10/2022 14:59

The very people who need these services, are often the very people least able to pay.

Absolutely this!
Also many people do pay for private counselling.

rageapplied · 05/10/2022 15:09

Gingernaut · 05/10/2022 14:59

The very people who need these services, are often the very people least able to pay.

Also. This.

DoodlePug · 05/10/2022 15:10

@FlibbertyGiblets i have 3 people in mind all of whom have called me today either to directly complain about their mental health or to moan about an aspect of their life which is related to mh!

They've all been to the doc and are waiting for referals.
One of these has monthly physio, one has paid for an elbow op the NHS deemed unnecessary and all take multiple holidays a year.

It's impacting me Tbh, I'll pay for their sessions if they'll just stop calling me!

Sorry for the rant 🙃

OP posts:
DoodlePug · 05/10/2022 15:11

You know what, thinking on that some more I know at least 2 of the 3 really just want medication rather than counselling.

That could well be it!

OP posts:
DreamingofItaly2023 · 05/10/2022 15:12

Gingernaut · 05/10/2022 14:59

The very people who need these services, are often the very people least able to pay.

I have Cptsd and can’t work at the moment. I am having weekly therapy at £165 a week. I am unbelievably fortunate to have a supportive, high earning DH so we can afford this as a family. So many won’t have that.

whenwillthemadnessend · 05/10/2022 15:13

@Kendodd

If you really think that then I can't believe you have had a serious MH issue.

DoodlePug · 05/10/2022 15:13

Agreed.

Again, I said several times that my post was about people who can pay.

Although as some pp said, if those who can pay do we will pretty soon not have an NHS.

I doubt this is their reasoning though.

OP posts:
gamerchick · 05/10/2022 15:14

Personally I don't believe in councelling for most things. What's the point in going over and over the past when you can't change it? Might be helpful for some stuff but 2 weeks in the sun is probably better for anxiety than councelling, as is exercise.

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