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Welsh mental health crisis teams see 17% jump in cases

Monday 24th December 2018
Specialist teams who care for mental health patients have seen their caseloads soar in the past three years.
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The number of cases of referrals to mental health crisis teams in Wales has jumped by 17 per cent in the last three years.

Official figures show Crisis Resolution Home Treatment (CRHT) teams saw 19,269 people at home in 2017-18, compared with 16,508 in 2014-15, BBC Wales reports. 

Teams include medical professionals, social workers and other support staff. 

The Welsh government has emphasised its investment in crisis services and will invest an extra £35 million in the teams next year, but mental health charity Mind has called for more emphasis on helping people before they reach crisis point.

Mental health patient Georgia Lawson, from Welshpool, is one of the people to have been helped by a CRHT team after several suicide attempts caused by her borderline personality disorder. But she told the BBC she believes early intervention can help. 

"If resources, waiting lists and therapies were more readily available... If people can work through their issues first, things won't get to boiling point," she remarked. 

Director of Mind Cymru Sara Moseley agreed, adding: "More investment is needed in this area and I think we do know that if people are helped earlier on, if they have the right help in terms of crisis, people get better and live good lives.

"It's much more cost effective to help people before they get to that point of crisis."

The number of suicides in the UK has fallen in recent years, although it remains much higher for males than females. 

Official figures show 5,821 people took their own lives in the UK in 2017, a rate of 10.1 per 100,000 of the population.

The figure or men was 15.5 per 100,000, compared with 4.9 per 100,000 for women. However, while the female rate has been constant over the last decade, the rate for males was at its lowest since statistics on the subject were first kept in 1981. 

Written by Angela Newbury

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