Shaista tells me that NHS waiting lists for mental health services are long. Last year, a report
by NHS Digital into IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) found that 87.3% of patients who were referred to talking therapies were seen within six weeks. However, a patient's second appointment is where the regular treatment begins and the BBC reported
that one in six patients waits over 90 days for a second appointment. Between the first and second appointment, many are left in limbo. Shaista adds: "Another barrier for many of these women, especially older women, is the language barrier. MWNUK counsellors are able to speak Urdu / Punjabi / Mirpuri and we are now looking for counsellors that are able to deliver sessions for us in Arabic and Bengali." Between long waiting times and language barriers, who, if anyone, are these women turning to in their hour of need?