Home > Mental Health > Mental Health Matters – Reblogged for WMHD

Mental Health Matters – Reblogged for WMHD

I wasn’t planning on posting for World Mental Health Day today, but rather late in the day have decided to share again this post from September 2016. This has become, by a distance, the most ‘liked’ of all of my posts and, reading through the comments for the first time in ages it is clear that it touched a chord with many people. So, for those who haven’t seen it before, here is a second chance to catch up with it.

The post was prompted by my horror at the reports that service commissioners in England were diverting money supposedly ring-fenced for mental health services into other services. In the year since then, the situation does not appear to have improved, and I have seen no evidence that mental health is any higher in the commissioners’ priorities. I find this scandalous, and hope that the Government can find time in its busy agenda of wrecking the country to deliver on the commitments they have made to improve mental health services. I saw last week an estimate that an additional 10,000 mental health practitioners are needed across the country, and that specialist Mental Health Trusts in London currently have 25% vacancy rates, or worse. Urgent action is needed to begin rectifying this, as even a start now will take years to filter through as improved services.

On a personal note, I know that despite my own treatment finishing four years ago, I am never far from tipping over the edge and needing help again. I was well looked after, up to a point, and the final piece of the jigsaw was provided by my employer’s Occupational Health Service – I worked for an NHS Mental Health Trust at the time. I have since retired, so that is no longer available to me, and I know that local services where I live are limited. The prospect of needing their support again worries me, not because I don’t have confidence in their skills, but because they are under huge pressure and depression – which I had – isn’t exactly a high priority in the great scheme of things.

I hope you can take a few moments to read my original post. Whilst it isn’t themed for WMHD it raises important issues. We shouldn’t allow these to be swept under the carpet.

Take It Easy

At the risk of repeating myself, I started this blog to share my experience of depression in the hope that it would help others. I worked for more than 20 years in the NHS for a large mental health Trust and although I haven’t blogged much about it recently mental health is still a subject about which I care deeply. Last week there was a story in The Times which alarmed me about the way mental health is supported, and which I felt I had to share. This post is about the situation in England but I suspect that the issues are common to many other countries around the world.

A little bit of background: when the Tory-led coalition government came to power in 2010 they embarked on a major restructuring of the NHS. There had been no mention of this in their manifesto, but that’s another story. One of…

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  1. October 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for re-posting this, Clive. It’s just as great the second time around!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you, Diane, kind of you to say so 😊

      Like

  2. October 11, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Hi Clive, unfortunately this post will always have currency. Both in terms of the lack of serious government interest in mental health matters — and correlated underfunding of initiatives — and offering personal testimony and an outlet for people who don’t always go easily through a day

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Sadly, Enda, I fear that you are right. Much more needs to be done to help those suffering with their mental health, but there doesn’t seem to be much likelihood of that happening any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. October 11, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Perhaps the fact that the Prime Minister looks close to having a full blown nervous breakdown might tip things … sadly I doubt it. As you know this situation incenses me. That is all I have to say. I may need a lie down xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I doubt it too, but it would be good to be proved wrong. They’ve said the words and made the commitment, but without setting up the systems to ensure action. That makes me angry too xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. October 11, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Our priorities are so messed, taking care of people should be our first priority. As a psychotherapist and human being, thank you for advocating for the mental health services and the wonderful people who need them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • October 11, 2017 at 8:20 am

      Think you, Cindy. You’re so right, and it’s a pity that most politicians seem incapable of understanding that. It’s even worse when doctors fail to see it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. October 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm

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