A flagship NHS mental health service is failing patients in one in seven areas of England, research by the BBC shows.
People with conditions like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are entitled to psychological therapies, such as counselling.
The NHS is meant to successfully treat half of the people it sees.
But an analysis of official NHS data showed this was not the case in 28 of the 195 local areas of the country in the first six months of this year.
There is a threefold variation in recovery rates between different places, with experts saying if such differences existed in heart bypass surgery there would be an outcry.