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Applied psychologists to lobby parliament on 20 March to demand promised funding on mental health
Members of Unite, the union, working as Applied Psychologists in the NHS will be lobbying MPs in the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 20 March, with an urgent call on government to deliver on its promise to boost mental health funding in the face of plummeting morale.
A rally and photocall of Unite members and MPs will be held at Old Palace Yard, London SW1P 3JY at 13:30.
Professionally qualified and trained in evidence based therapies to help people suffering with emotional and psychological problems, Unite Applied Psychologist members are speaking out to highlight the stress and strain they and their service are under.
A recent Unite survey revealed that morale among NHS workers has hit rock bottom with 86.9% of 3,112 respondents saying that workplace morale was worse or a lot worse than it was a year ago. A further 87.8% said that increased work-related stress is to blame.
In addition to calling for action on mental health funding, they will appeal for adequate ring-fenced funding for psychological services and the protection of psychological roles in the NHS as well as an end to the downbanding and de-skilling of psychologists.
The cash boost call comes as recent analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists reveals that funding for mental health services is still lagging seriously behind, with mental health trusts left with less money than in 2012, when ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health was first promised.
Unite national officer, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “Applied psychologists are speaking out with a very clear message that unless this government delivers on its promised boost to mental health funding, the service and its workforce will be plunged into chaos.
“Our members care passionately about their patients and the service they provide, but with the rates of mental health problems escalating, especially among children and young people, time needs to be called on the erosion of higher skilled posts and the introduction of targets which has set work related stress soaring.”
“MPs need to heed this warning. Public access to applied psychologist specialists is being lost. People are waiting longer for help and need to travel further from home to access that help. If they can, some are now paying to go privately for therapy which poses a risk, as they are vulnerable to linking with unregulated private practitioners. We are losing expertise in the NHS as a result.”
For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777.
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