World Mental Health Day: Are the NHS doing enough?

In the last quarter century, since World Mental Health Day was first introduced,  mental health has progressed forward so much, stepping away from the stigma and closer towards understanding, respect and awareness. But, is it enough?

Though the stigma around mental health is still prominent you can’t ignore how far contemporary society has come. With the help of celebrities many have begun to accept that illness can occur within your head and the illnesses are all serious.

Celebrities have been turning the spotlight away from themselves and onto the dark places inside their minds that they often try to hide: the vulnerable corners of their souls that struggle with mental illness. This year Prince Harry rallied to the cause sharing his own struggles and Chris Hughes, Love Island contestant, used his new found fame to feature in that new advert.

The list is positively endless with celebrities choosing to air their woes to the public not for attention but for awareness – even picture perfect people need help, we all do. It’s okay not to be okay.

But it’s not only stigma that stops individuals from speaking out, it’s the devastating reality that all too often once people do seek help they are failed by the health system.

When someone breaks a leg they aren’t asked to wait six months on a waiting list for a cast so why are mental health patients?

The system is already bursting at the seams with funding cuts thus increasing waiting times but those practicalities are little comfort to someone suffering. The NHS psychological therapy services are on offer to those who get past the red tape and wait but they are lagging behind the larger part of the NHS – the physical pains and problems we face.

skin-2404163_960_720.jpg 1 in 4 adults will experience mental illness at some point each year, would you really want to wait? Only 15% of these adults will be seen by professionals, according to The Independent.

This figure is devastating, imagine if only 15% of cancer patients were seen by medical professionals? Applying this figure to a physical disease really highlights just how small the percentile is: but don’t you wish we didn’t have to apply it to a physical condition just for people to realise? It’s time the physical and mental health barriers were pulled down and we saw the two as equally important and serious.

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However, one in four of the UK’s adult population is roughly 13 million people – that’s a lot. The NHS would run and hide, probably even cry, if every single one of these individuals were to check in – though you can also argue that everyone of the 13 million are crying too.

13 million people are suffering.

1 in 4 is a hell of a lot of people but keep in mind that current generations of people have new pressures entering their life every single day: social media is inescapable with constant scrutiny in everyone’s back pocket, we have more pay-monthly plans leaving our accounts every single year, cellphones have made most people’s 9 – 5 a constant on call corundum, the media is always telling us to be thinner and there’s always someone with a better ‘filter’ on their life.

 Modern life is fast paced, packed with pressures and you’re never alone to just breathe – not when social media is a 24/7 cycle of scrolling, posting and like-counting.

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Image sourced via The Devil’s Excrement

We are all guilty of putting our mental health on the back burner in fear of missing out or falling behind, but in a fast paced society those who do take a break understandably fear just how much they will miss. Arguably this society isn’t one that we can realistically keep up with when we’re always speeding up.

Change is needed, necessary. The NHS aim to treat 25% of those suffering by 2020 and while the 10% increase set will be a huge help the biggest lesson here is to listen to ourselves, our bodies and minds. It’s time, as a society, that we recognise that nobody can keep up with this pace we are all guilty of setting.

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Do you think they’re doing enough?

Don’t suffer in silence, talk. Talk to anyone: friends, family, volunteers in the sector, professionals or charities. 

Find a full A-Z list of helplines here.

 

12 comments

    • It’s great to have someone directly involved with not only the discussion but experience with the topic – I really do hope you’re feeling better now and I agree that though steps are being taken they need to get there faster!

      Like

  1. Kayleigh Zara

    See I actually had a really good experience with mental health and the nhs. I had 20 sessions of counselling almost immediate and my doctor was so understanding. Whilst I realise that most people do not receive this type of treatment – I think the nhs just doesn’t have the capability to offer it to everyone and people sit on different levels of need for it too. Itll be interesting to see the nhs do more and how they go about fixing the system x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really great to hear you had such a good experience though sad that it’s within the minority. I agree that funding and staffing has a effect o how much the NHS will help and hopefully the government will give more in the future to such sectors!

      Ps, hope your mental health is better now ✨

      Like

  2. It’s such a shame that people have to wait so long when they need help. It’s good that things have gotten better, but they aren’t good enough yet for people, improvements still need to be made!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jasmin N

    It’s awful how people have to wait for so long to get help. Though, it’s as fucked up here in Finland too so, I hope they’ll fix this soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah Eliza

    I agree, the NHS aren’t doing enough but in the current state they can’t- they don’t have the man hours or the funding in right sectors to allow them to get to patients faster who are waiting mental health treatment such as psychotherapy etc.

    Sarah x
    http://www.saraheliza.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

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