Monday, 18 June 2012

Does the NHS take your mental health seriously?

The London School of Economics and Political Science report on mental health in the UK says that the NHS is failing millions of peole in their common mental health problems.  You know the ones, anxiety, depression, OCD and the like; the ones that you and I and our friends actually might have.

Professor Lord Layard of the LSE Centre for Economic Performance has called for a government to take mental illness seriously and have a specific cabinet member who takes responsibility for the issues.  The LSE's Mental Health Policy Group which includes doctors, psychologists, NHS managers and economists, says this reported under-treatment of mental health is the most "glaring case of health inequality" in Britain today.  The authors blame NHS trusts for failing to commission evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behaviour (CBT) and family therapy, despite clear recommendations by spending watchdog, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.

Is this your experience?
It isn't really mine, but then that's because I make my own needs very clear to my GP.
It's also because I've been living with my depression for many years and know what's on offer. 
However I can't get access to a psychologist or counsellor in the NHS, they expect that to be private.
I'm not saying I doubt the research, far from it; in fact I hate to mention that if this is what's known and measured then probably things are much worse - to account for all the many thousands of people who don't even know that their GP might care about their emotions.
Things have to change, our emotional state and mental health affects everything in our lives; it needs to be taken seriously and treated appropriately.

1 comment:

Roger Wright said...

Emma, 'couselling' is available - though the number of places has been heavily cut By austerity measures of the government - by your GP referring you to a Community Mental Health Team.
In fairness, when funding was available, my local PCT supported things such as Art For Mental Health. Now all of that has gone, except for one charity place.

The NHS takes mental health seriously, but it has so many calls on its funding, and so many cuts to make at the behest of Government, the interest is waning.
I am struggling to keep hold of my CPNurse at present.