Support for Child Abuse Victims in England Falls Short

Though an increasing number of people are approaching psychotherapy as an enlightening way to learn more about themselves and their environment, others work with therapy for specific concerns or events, and in the case of children and teens, this later situation is often the case. Coming forward to a therapist about having been abused is a large and mature step for a young person, note the authors of a recent study on England’s postal code waiting list system for victims of child abuse. The system creates a kind of lottery for access to state mental health care. To have courage met with the promise of a long wait for the attainment of professional mental heath care and services—spanning over a year in some instances—is an understandably negative experience.

The study sought to examine how long children and young adults were having to wait to receive proper care from the limited number of England’s providers. While sexual abuse, which served as the primary focus for the study, can be very difficult for children to process, and healing may benefit extraordinarily from quality mental health services, the study found that the issue is not held as a priority in the country and within its public health sector.

An obvious need for increases in the availability of providers as well as shortened waiting times for clients is outlined by the study, which hopes to bring attention to the care of sexually abused young people in England and throughout the world. As many teenagers face difficulties attaining services for adults as well as special health incentives for children, carefully considered programs may help youth get crucial assistance for healing and remaining healthy.

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • shannon


    July 28th, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    This story reminds me of going to a store and having to “take a number” before getting customer support… you just can’t put a child on a long waiting list once she or he has come forward. I had no idea that there was a shortage of therapists in England. Shoot maybe I should move there to do my internship. Does anyone have any idea what it takes to work in mental health in the UK? i have a masters degree and I’m working toward getting my LMFT and LPC in WA state.

  • Fletcher


    July 28th, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    The vast majority of jobs in health are within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). This is their government funded public health service. Britons can also go private if they so choose. Each country within the UK (Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales)has their own base of NHS operations and related websites. England is the largest.

    Terminology is slightly different in the UK. I estimate that your training is most closely aligned with their psychotherapist with perhaps an overlap into the counsellor roles. These pages describe the work of psychotherapists and counsellors, and the qualifications required, in England.



    I suggest contacting them to ask what your qualifications and training to date would be equivalent to in the UK and what your NHS career options are. Good luck.

  • Irene


    July 29th, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    I think it’s sick that this has to happen even with mental health services. I think Britain needs some major revamp on its health care services.

  • Nicole


    July 29th, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    Hey is this just another way for conservatives to put a bad spin on socialized medicine? You cannot tell me that sometimes the wait times here in the US are any better especially for the millions who have no health insurance at all. And sometimes what those people have to accept as care is minimal at best. If there is good care in the socialized system then take it because at least it is paid for by your tax dollars and every citizen is assured that he or she can get help. That is not always the case here.

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