More people should have therapy for “problem anger” urges charity

More people should receive psychological therapy for “problem anger”, a charity has urged.

The Mental Health Foundation recommends that people referred to the new Access to Psychological Therapies Programme, which ministers say will treat 900,000 people with depression and anxiety over the next three years, should also screen people for severe anger.

A new report by the charity states there is “mounting evidence” linking anger with heart disease, stroke, cancer and violence, including murder.

The report, entitled Boiling Point, cites research claiming the pressures of modern life in western societies is leading to people being angrier.

The charity, headed by research psychologist Dr Andrew McCulloch, says it is not advocating that problem anger should be a classified as a mental disorder, but that is associated with other mental health problems.

“We need greater acknowledgement of problem anger as a valid reason for referral to health care and greater use of anger screening tools as part of the assessment process,” reads Boiling Point.

Royal College of GPs mental health spokesman Carolyn Chew-Graham told the BBC there was very little treatment available for patients who consult their GP with an anger problem.

“Patients with anger management problems do not fit the criteria for referral to a primary care mental health team which tend to focus on people with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression,” Dr Chew-Graham said.

Some mental health providers already provide anger management services.

Boiling Point makes a total of 10 recommendations for policy makers.

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