Far be it from me –

Could A New Skype Based Counselling Service Actually Help Ease The Mental Health Burden On The NHS?

on July 2, 2012

Could a new Skype based counselling service actually help ease the mental health burden on the NHS?
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Latest figures show that the number of adults who have accessed specialist mental health services between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2011 was the highest since records began in 2003/04 at over 1.25 million people.

And with mental health issues up on the previous year (2009/10) a new survey from Mootu.com today reveals that much of that could be down to three key factors.

The study reveals that adults in the UK believe the economic downturn (83%), pace of modern life (65%) and most interestingly new technology (27%) are the leading factors in the rise of mental health and addiction problems.

The findings have been released to launch http://www.Mootu.com, a new service which makes it easier to access professional help than ever before. It is the first network in the UK to offer counselling and psychotherapy via Skype video conferencing.

Despite a growing acknowledgment that mental health issues are a problem in the UK – two thirds of UK adults admit they think mental health issues are on the rise, a staggering number of people admit they wouldn’t seek help, this is particularly prevalent amongst the unemployed where nearly 50% would suffer in silence. Yet 63% of Brits said they would consult a therapist or counsellor if they could do so from the privacy of their home or without having to take time off work, showing there is a need for an in-home provision such as Mootu.

Worryingly, even with a number of high profile celebrities – such as Sarah Harding of Girl’s Aloud and former former England rugby player Duncan Bell and – having recently spoken out about their battle with depression, over a quarter of people state they wouldn’t seek help because of the stigma associated with such mental health problems and nearly 60% state they’d rather “soldier on themselves”.

However, if they thought they had a mental health problem, 63% of people said they would consult a therapist or counsellor IF they could do so from the privacy of their home or without having to take time off work or tell the boss.

At a time when a third of all GP appointments are for mental health issues, public health services are being cut and charities such as MIND are being flooded with calls for help (up 18-28% on last year) perhaps a more innovative approach which negates issues around stigmatism would both help the number of people willing to seek help and also ease the increasing burden on the NHS.

Mootu was established by dot.com entrepreneur, counselor and former addict John Witney, and is the UK’s first and largest provider of counselling and psychotherapy via Skype. All of its therapists are members of at least one professional body, qualified and experienced in their field. Their memberships are verified by Mootu to ensure the highest standards of practice.
Listen to our podcast with John Witney, founder of Mootu, dot com entrepreneur and professional counsellor and Phillip Hodson, FRSA, a leading psychotherapist and follow of the BACP

Reblogged from The Patient Experience http://www.patient-experience.com


6 responses to “Could A New Skype Based Counselling Service Actually Help Ease The Mental Health Burden On The NHS?

  1. Jude says:

    I think it would be an excellent way to care for people and build up trust. It’s the future.


  2. Dabbit says:

    Interesting to read that a third of GP appointments are for mental health issues. And why shouldn’t they be I have to reply? Mental health is as important as physical health, and I think the whole idea of skyping an appointment isn’t good. If you are sitting in the same room, the GP can pick up on body language as well as spoken words – as I am aware some people (myself included) often ‘hide’ their feelings in words. For example someone says to me “How are you”? I answer “Fine”! Despite feeling low at the point, because that’s how I am and I always tend to think that people don’t want to hear and are just being polite. And if through skype the body language that might give away your true feelings, wouldn’t be visible. I think Skyping an appointment might be OK for some-things such as minor ailments or childhood illnesses etc.


  3. jeanmarg says:

    This is interesting. I think it might be helpful to some people whereas others would need direct face-to-face contact. I suppose how useful it would be for an individual would depend on that person’s needs and personality.


  4. This came up at the conference I attended for Child Mental Health Matters in May, Vancouver BC. There are several programs in Netherlands and Canada where kids can chat with others anonymously on a safe and secure chatline as they are identified as having mentally ill parents. How one deals with on line predators is one thing, but with secure sites and anonymity and well trained professionals, I think novel idea !


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