we missed you

Three words that may or may not have greeted you as you came back to your job in mental health.



On the off chance that you arrive back on the frontline feeling a bit ambivalent, how about you help us do something about it by building a picture of what is going on in mental health in the UK?

Why are we doing the Surviving Work Survey?
An important report by the British Psychoanalytic Council and the UKCP about the working lives of psychotherapists concludes that with a 77% increase in complex cases and 63% of clients reporting that NHS therapy was too short to do any good. Psychotherapists report that the reality of working in mental health and containing increasing levels of distress is becoming unsustainable.



The lack of understanding about employment relations in the sector exposes a range of problems faced by psychotherapists, including the growth of contract and agency labour, the use of unwaged labour, the insecurity of ‘permanent’ psychotherapists in the NHS and the retreat into private practice. Because of the growing insecurity of work in mental health and the fear of blacklisting of individual therapists who raise their concerns, people are often unwilling to speak up at work.



As a result not much is known about what is happening to wages, working conditions and clinical practice in our sector.


To read our article How to Survive Work as a Psychotherapist go HERE


Why is the Surviving Work Survey being conducted?
The aims of this survey are to help us build a map of the trends in working conditions for psychotherapists and mental health workers in the UK. Through the Surviving Work Survey and anonymous case studies we want to create a map which measures:
– unwaged and honorary work
– growth of private contractors and private employment agencies providing clinical services
– trends in wages and earnings in the sector
– impact on clinical supervision and professional practice
– impact on our relationships at work



This survey is anonymous

We guarantee that all information submitted will be anonymised and used only for the purposes of this mapping exercise. We guarantee that any information you submit will be held anonymously by Surviving Work and will not be passed on to your employer or any professional body. We will not use your data to try to sell you anything nor will we make any commercial gain from the information you give us. We ask participants to provide us with a personal email address so that we can follow up with phone interviews to deepen our understanding of the issues faced by psychotherapists in the UK.



Take the Surviving Work Survey

If you work in mental health please take this survey HERE


If you know someone who works in mental health send them this link www.survivingwork.org/surviving-work-survey.



What happens to the data?

As we build a picture of our sector, we will produce infographics and an online map to raise awareness and encourage debate about the future of work in mental health. As a research team will will produce articles which analyse the data for publication in journals and carry out a series of debates and events within the sector. Upcoming events include:



Working in Mental Health: Modern Day Slavery?

Clare Gerada & Elizabeth Cotton

11th February 2016 Tavistock & Portman Clinic



Surviving Work in Mental Health

Elizabeth Cotton

5th March 2016 British Psychoanalytic Council



Surviving Work as a Therapist

Elizabeth Cotton

12th March 2016 WPF Therapy



Who is conducting the research?
The research will be jointly carried out by:
• Elizabeth Cotton, Surviving Work & lead researcher
• Leanne Stelmaszczyk, British Psychoanalytic Council
• Clare Gerada, Practitioner Health Programme
• John Grahl, Professor in Economics, Middlesex University


The lead researcher for the project is Elizabeth Cotton. If you would like to contact her anonymously please feel free to email her directly at [email protected]


Take the Surviving Work Survey HERE

Leave a Reply