'People are let down time and again'
12 December 2013 Last updated at 01:03 GMT
Figures obtained by BBC News following Freedom of Information requests show that mental health trusts have had their funding cut by more than 2% in real terms over the past two years.
This is despite the government's promise to protect health spending.
Separate information provided to online journal Community Care shows that over the same period, referrals to crisis and community mental health teams have risen by 16%.
Paramedic Emma Bardney from Nottinghamshire was diagnosed with complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a childhood trauma. She says the therapy she needed was initially refused, and then delayed, because it had not been available in her area.
She spoke to the BBC's Michael Buchanan.