In my last blog post I mentioned the problem of stigma in regards to mental health. The issue being that the stigma exists because of a lack of understanding regarding the subject.
Since writing that piece, Mental Health Awareness week has passed and it feels like people have been more exposed to the issues that so many face. This is a trend that needs to be continued in order to help those who need it.
According to mind.org.uk 20.6 people in every 100 have suicidal thoughts. One fifth. In any case this would be an epidemic and treated like any other health issue.
Consider this: mental health is one of the biggest contributors to disease worldwide. In the UK it is the cause of 28% of the total burden. And yet mental health is still not treated with the seriousness that is given to physical health issues. In fact, according to a review in 2015 only 5.5% of the NHS budget is put into mental health.
Considering the statistics – that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues every year – the area is drastically underfunded.
Whilst in a psychiatric ward I saw many gaps in the carers schedule. Bank Holidays were always short on staff. When speaking to carers I found out that the mental health sector (as well as the NHS in general) is hugely understaffed.
It is estimated that only 1 in 8 people suffering from mental health issues are given the necessary care they need.
Mental Awareness Week is a small step in the right direction but there needs to be leaps and bounds in order to get the right level of help for those who need it.
Go on twitter, instagram, facebook and any other social media platform and ask about mental health. Have discussions with people about their problems. Create networks. Vote for change. Challenge the status quo.
As the famous words go: “be the change you want to see in the world“.
Photo above – coffee and recently screwed handle for DIY tray