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Previous Action

I met with Jamie Hepburn on 7 March 2016 at his surgery in Cumbernauld where I handed him a copy of my proposal, which forms the foundation of this petition. I also gave him the results from the survey I put in place. At the end of the meeting, he stated he would have someone from his office forward me further information on upcoming changes to accessing mental health services, but sadly I never received this and this has given me a further reason to petition the Parliament.

During February 2016, I conducted an online survey which I then shared over my social media pages. 35 people responded to the survey, which covered areas such as:

  • Whether respondents have spoken to their GP about a referral. If not, why not? If so, what happened next?
  • Whether referral was denied and, if so, why?
  • The length of time waited for an appointment post-referral.
  • If counselling/therapy was received, and if it was felt to be adequate.
  • Whether respondents were informed of any local support groups, and whether they feel there should be more such groups.
  • What more respondents feel could be done to reduce waiting times/take strain off the NHS.

These results are based on low response rates, but I believe that they still have value.


  • ⅘ of those who approached their GP for a referral were referred.
  • Worryingly, several of those who were refused referral were not given a reason.
  • Half of those who were referred had to wait 6 months or longer for an appointment. This is not acceptable: those who have been referred are obviously deemed serious enough cases for referral, and 6 months is a long time for mental health issues to impact on somebody’s life with no treatment.
  • Half of respondents say that they were not given the appropriate number of sessions. This number should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • 60% were not told of any support groups nearby. This is despite the fact that the majority believe that being informed of local support groups while waiting for therapy would help.

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