In our response to a consultation on mental health, we’ve reinforced to NHS England the role that counsellors and psychotherapists can play as a workforce to meet the challenges ahead.

The consultation is the result of the announcement by the Government of an increase in the amount of funding to be made available to the NHS over the coming years.

We were asked, as stakeholders, to consider the proposals within the existing Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, which runs until 2020 to 2021, and to focus on highlighting gaps within the existing plans.

We’ve highlighted three key priorities for meeting the mental health needs of people of all ages in England:

  • a full choice of evidence based talking therapies to be offered to all those who need them
  • focus on increasing access to psychological therapy services for all client groups, particularly those who are currently underrepresented in mental health services – such as older adults and children, young people and families
  • development of national infrastructure to support the commissioning of psychological therapy services beyond IAPT

We also recommended an increase in the integration of mental health and physical health services, to ensure that clients can have all their needs met in a holistic manner.

We'll continue to take every opportunity to highlight the existing workforce of counsellors and psychotherapists who have the skills to work within these services, but are being underutilised.