Sunday, 14 February 2016

The routine failures in mental health

"A leaked report by a government taskforce has painted a devastating picture of England’s mental health services, revealing that the number of people killing themselves is soaring, that three-quarters of those with psychiatric conditions are not being helped, and that sick children are being sent `almost anywhere in the country` for treatment."

"Details of the damning assessment have come to light just as the prime minister is planning to herald a transformation of mental health services."

"The report, due to be published on Monday to coincide with an announcement by the prime minister on funding and new initiatives, lays bare a system that is routinely failing people from every walk of life."

"While the prime minister is expected to trumpet his focus on mental health six years after he pledged to put mental wellbeing at the centre of his government his own taskforce condemns years of underinvestment and lays a significant portion of the blame on the current administration."

"The study, overseen by Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, makes clear that the situation is dire despite promises of reform. `Many people struggle to get the right help at the right time, and evidence-based care is underfunded,` the draft report says. `The human cost is unacceptable and the financial cost is unaffordable`..."

"Suicide in England is now rising `following many years of decline`, with 4,477 people killing themselves in an average year."

"There has been a 10% increase in the number of people sectioned under the Mental Health Act over the past year, suggesting the needs of the sick are not being met early enough."

It is extraordinary that at a time when mental health networks are being built up around children, and charities are moving into schools on the understanding that they will provide preventive interventions, those who are actually crying out for help do not always get the support they desperately need.

Perhaps it is time charities stopped preaching about possible future scenarios and paid more attention to the issues existing today.

As for the increasing number of sections, one of the reasons for that which is not highlighted in the article, is that sectioning has been made easier.  Expect further increases.

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