Figures revealed on Friday by the BBC show the flagship mental health Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service fails more people than it helps in one in seven areas of England. We spoke to two people with very different experiences of "navigating the system" and accessing mental health services.
Karla says she knows she's been lucky. Her experience of accessing mental health care has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I've got two long-term health conditions but it was this year that it became a real issue. In January I did attempt suicide," she says.
Karla, who lives in Derby, adds: "I got CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) really quickly, within a couple of weeks. And in that time, I was seeing my GP pretty much every day. He made time to make sure I was OK.
"It doesn't happen very often that people have that experience. I was really fortunate to have a GP who took the time. The access can be such a problem."
And she says her CBT made a significant difference. "The therapist helped me through a lot of things. I'm officially in recovery from depression and anxiety. I'm in a far better place.
"CBT has taught me how to express things in healthier ways. Now I don't bottle things up so much.
"It gave me the strength to say, 'you know what, it's going to hurt and it's going to get worse'. Before, I didn't talk to anyone. Therapy taught me to accept this is what it is.
"It's given me my life back and the confidence to do things and try things - to know that when I failed it's not because I was a weak person. I am not. I get up every morning in chronic pain - sometimes getting up and getting dressed is a challenge.
"It's given me the confidence in myself that I need. It's saved my life."