Mental health in the NHS – the Cinderella service?

Mental health services in the NHS will be getting an extra £2 billion per annum as a result of the recent budget But is it too little, too late? The promised funding is not due to arrive in NHS budgets until 2023 and the plan is to create a new mental health crisis service, provide mental health provision in A&E, and to prioritise mental health support to young people.

The Royal College of Nurses is dubious about the plans as they will inevitably depend on the existence of a well-trained and expert workforce of healthcare professionals. They point to the current staffing gaps in A & E departments which don’t seem likely to be filled in the near future.

As I listen to the stories many of my clients tell of the mental and emotional distress and anxiety that they suffer on a daily or even hourly basis, I frequently wonder how we have arrived at this state of affairs. The catalogue of misery that often precedes a mental health crisis is often made up of a series of events and incidents that could have been avoided. In addition, the person affected might have been able to cope better with some support and help. This is only offered when they have become ill.

A Health Service – or an Illness Service?

A National Health Service should be about wellbeing – people need to be cared for and supported whilst they are well, to stay that way. They also need help to continue to remain in the best health that they can. The NHS is waking up to this for physical conditions such as diabetes where overweight people are referred to support groups and given other help to ensure that they do not develop the disease. But our so-called ‘health’ service is anything but when it comes to emotional wellbeing. This is understandable when money is in short supply.

But we need help to learn how to relax and be mentally and emotionally resilient. That’s the only way to deal with the blows that life will deal us. Happy people are almost always emotionally and mentally well. People who are worried and have problems that seem insurmountable, feel undervalued or bullied and intimidated at work or at home, are being constantly worn down and their energies depleted. Sooner or later they will break under the strain.

My plan

I’m planning to set up a small class in my area to promote emotional and general wellbeing. This is something new for me and I’m getting excited about how to help people to become stronger, happier, and more resilient. I’m thinking of calling it the ‘Don’t Give A -” course. Some time ago worked with a very poorly person who hadn’t been out of the house for a long time. She finally managed to overcome her fear and go to her children’s sports day. When asked how she had managed it, she said: “I had hypnotherapy. After that I didn’t give a s**t!”.

Watch this space…

By |2019-02-01T15:21:53+00:00October 31st, 2018|General News, Hypnotherapy|

The season of goodwill?

rainy-83136_1280“Happy Christmas”! To anyone feeling lonely, anxious, fearful or depressed, those words sound not only hollow but cynical.

In fact, they just seem to emphasise that many people aren’t actually happy at all, and won’t miraculously become that way just because it’s the festive season.

But it’s worth remembering that those smilingly wishing us a happy Christmas are often not very happy themselves – their smiles may hide heartache, worry, illness or even downright misery.

Talking to people can help, which is why so many of us turn to counselling and hypnotherapy. But a bit of  ordinary, genuine goodwill can also go a long way towards making people feel better.

In the run-up to the Christmas holiday, I plan to make sure that I perform at least one small act of kindness or consideration every day, even if it’s only telling someone that they’ve done a good job or thanking them properly for their help. Simply smiling at people who serve you in shops can make their day that bit better.

If we could all do this, it would make our lives a little bit happier, I’m sure. And who knows – it might become a habit.

Because goodwill is for life, not just for Christmas.

By |2018-11-05T14:10:30+00:00December 7th, 2016|Anxiety, Hypnotherapy|

Smoking harms DNA

cigarette-666941_640A new study proves that tobacco smoke harms human DNA and is linked to a whole range of cancers. This was a large-scale research exercise involving 5,000 smokers so it can’t be dismissed.

Though I don’t specialise in smoking cessation myself, it is something I feel is very worthwhile and other hypnotherapists report good results as long as their clients are really motivated to stop.

One reason that I don’t offer smoking cessation is that I have a personal interest that makes it hard for me to be objective. In her youth and middle age, my mother had been a very heavy smoker. When she was in her last months of life, I watched her trying desperately to breathe, hooked up to an oxygen cylinder. This is an image that will stay with me always. She had suffered from breathing problems for years and her whole retirement (after a life of hard work and little enjoyment) had been blighted by this disability. I had health problems myself that later were recognised as the result of passive smoking.

I do offer help for clients who want to rid themselves of unwanted habits and lead healthier lives. Some of these issues – such as obesity or excessive drinking – have a negative effect on their families and friends. But only smoking harms such a wide range of people, including the general public who are breathing in the harmful ‘second-hand’ smoke. Does passive smoking also harm DNA? It would seem likely.

For more information, see:

By |2018-11-05T14:10:44+00:00November 4th, 2016|Hypnotherapy|