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.
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…