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Czechs have to wait months for free psychotherapeutic help

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Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) – The Czech Republic is short of centres that offer psychotherapeutic treatment for free, as a result of which patients have to wait for months unless they prefer visiting a psychotherapist whose services are not covered from health insurance and people must pay for them, Pravo wrote on Tuesday.

Apart from mentally ill patients, a psychotherapist’s aid is also sought by other people, twice in each Czech’s live on the average, Pravo writes.

“It is uneasy to find quality free psychotherapeutic help in our country. At present…people are left with only two possibilities. Either they can find a psychotherapist who cooperates with health insurers, but the waiting time for such consultations range from six to nine months, and there are only few such facilities,” Anna Audrlicka, director of the Social Clinic that provides almost free psychotherapeutic aid, is quoted as saying.

“Or they can find a psychotherapist who collects direct payments for his or her services. There is enough of them, in big towns at least, but one hour-long consultation costs 700 to 800 crowns,” Audrlicka said.

According to estimates, up to one third of Czechs suffer or suffered from a mental disorder or trouble.

Some 14 percent suffer from anxiety disorders, 7 percent from depression and almost 6 percent are hit by dementia.
One third of disability pensions go to people with mental disabilities, Pravo writes.

Statistics show the numbers of victims of mental disorders steeply growing in the past years. In 2005, mental problems killed 284 people in the 10.5-million Czech Republic, and the number rose to 1,210 in 2014, Pravo writes.

According to a study of Olomouc University Professor Jan Prasko, up to 70 percent of almost 650,000 Czechs who need psychiatric treatment would not have to take any medicines if they had access to regular psychotherapy, Audrlicka told the paper.

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