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Listening Out for Mental Health

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. A national Helpline, whose volunteers take calls from all over mainland UK, is playing its part to combat this awful situation

The sad death of Robin Williams served to draw attention to the ‘Cinderella service’ of health care in England – mental health. While a cancer scare gets you fast-tracked through to seeing a consultant, the wait to see a psychiatrist is about nine months.

The use of ‘talking therapies’ has been trumpeted by our coalition government.

“We can no longer have a health service that treats people physically but leaves them struggling mentally”, wrote Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton, when he was Minister for Care Services. Burstow, a staunch advocate for mental health issues, fell out with Number 10, and was moved out of office, and the initiative has clearly stalled.

Talking therapies requiring a listener, able...

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