In this world where a pandemic is not discriminating who it attacks, we have for centuries been living with a pandemic that has touched every single person in the world in every era and has never been given the respect and healing it deserves. This is the pandemic that is mental health illness.

Everyone of you reading this will either have experienced or know of someone who has experienced a mental health issue. So why is it that for something that touches everyone Mental Health has always been treated as a second-class citizen to physical health in terms of funding and hidden away for centuries?

In the UK treatments are available but there are minimal preventive techniques in place, people are forced to look to charities instead of the NHS for support and the NHS is only really interested in acting when a person reaches crisis point. In other countries around the world even less is offered for those suffering and worse what is offered has to be paid for. This is even more so compounded when we consider the impact this has on many minority communities where language or in some case culture makes access more so challennging.

The politicians of the UK actually see mental health as a political issue which dumfounds me, you only need to look at this article from the Evening Standard and watch the 2 minute video to see the way the government decides to show contempt to the shadow minister’s valid points. I am not making any political statement here mental health has no political allegiance it is party neutral . The facts that this is so costly surly means we should ALL be working together.  Surely cross-party teams should be in place to manage this.

Mental Health is not a toy to be thrown around the House of Commons. This is people’s lives, not only the sufferers but the families their friends, and their work colleagues. The level of pain and helplessness for all parties concerned is unsurmountable. We live in a world where computers can do more than us than we could possibly imagine but we choose to discriminate between mental and physical health, why?

Why do we not have specialist units for each area of mental health so that the personnel working in these areas are trained so they can actually help patients rather than act as prison guards with limited knowledge? Is it any surprise that so many staff will not enter mental health care as they have so little ability to influence the outcome of a patient’s diagnosis and support?

The staff live in fear and the volume of paperwork created to protect a mistake is unbelievable when what should be happening is involvement with the patients.

But having said all of this,  what is needed is prevention and to that end Mental Health Change has produced a set of proposals that we believe if implemented would significantly reduce the incidence of need to enter any mental health hospital through effective support and communication.

Will they be 100% successful of course not, would it improve the crazy situation we have in the UK at present, definitely and they would save the country £b in terms of lost output due to sickness caused by this deadly disease.

It is time there is a movement for change and I would ask that you join that movement

By Alastair Deards – Founder Mental Health Change


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