Talking openly about mental health has become more accepted within society over the last decade, proven by the multiple campaigns circling on TV, in our personal lives and our work lives.
An example of one from the last year is ‘Every Mind Matters’, released by the Government during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This campaign encouraged people to go online and receive a free personalised action plan with practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety during the time.
Awareness such as this is a great way to let some people suffering from poor mental health know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing and that help is available.
Alastair Santhouse, a Consultant Psychiatrist and author of Head First: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of Mind and Body, said awareness has “been very helpful for a number of people, particularly in that it tends to reduce stigma, which for a lot of people is probably one of the main reasons why they would not come forward before.”
However, in some cases, awareness can only go so far as the UK is still struggling with a poor mental health crisis.
According to the Office for National Statistics, during the middle of 2020, one in five British people were suffering from depression, which is double the same period in 2019.
Additionally, the number of children and young people needing emergency care due to their poor mental health increased by 20 per cent to 18,269.
While these mental health statistics worsened during unique circumstances that led the world to isolate like never before, UK mental health support has often been underfunded.
Despite mental health accounting for 28 per cent of diseases in the UK, the services only receive 13 per cent of spending.
Therefore, this underfunding causes long waiting lists and stretched services, which charities often take the burden of when mental health crisis teams are unavailable.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists found in 2020 that those living with severe mental illness, including bipolar, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress, were waiting up to two years for treatment, while 38 per cent of patients ended up contacting emergency or crisis services while waiting.
In more recent findings, nearly 1.5 million English people are awaiting mental health treatments. However, a tenth of Consultant Psychiatrist posts are not filled.
Nathan Filer, qualified Mental Health Nurse and Author of This Book Will Change Your Mind About Mental Health says on the topic: “Talking is in itself a good thing, but the issue is we can begin to believe that’s the end goal in itself. Talking is just the first step.
“There are so many other issues we then need to contend with like discrimination, social problems, the economic problems that are making or keeping people unwell, and then we need to educate people how to respond to that specifically.
“It’s all well and good when a colleague of yours feels more able to tell you in the workplace that they’re really struggling. But if they’re really struggling, they may be in danger of harming themselves, and you need the resources and knowledge to respond to that.”
At Synergy Complex care we provide personalised care and support for adults and children in their own homes.
If you or a loved one needs mental health support, please contact us today.
For emergency support, please visit the NHS website.