THE BLOG

Mental Health Research, Education, Funding and Awareness Is Twenty Years Behind Like Cancer Was Once

19/01/2015 12:56 GMT | Updated 19/03/2015 09:59 GMT

Mental health is 20 years behind cancer with funding and prevention.

Cancer research and treatment has grown profusely in the past 20 years. Awareness of the illness, along with the public and charities raising money for cancer research has aided early detection, which has prevented and cured, releasing many people from around the world from the hell that the illness has caused them.

Mental health is 20 years overdue funding and prevention services. We also know that if the right prevention is in place mental health can have a huge impact on people, helping those lead normal lives.

Everywhere we go now we can visibly see adverts for organisations strongly supporting important causes... rightly so, like mental health it saves people's lives, so why do I feel mental health sufferers are being cheated or even ignored. Mental health has the lack of education as did cancer and the aids virus in the 80s.

For some reason we fear mental health and don't talk about the illness. Today if Cancer units in the UK were taken away, there would be an uproar and every person would be petitioning, knocking down the door at No 10 Downing St, myself included. My Mother went through cancer, and the impact was colossal, I know first-hand how illnesses like this can affect:

a.) The person going through it

b.) The bigger family unit.

My mother being diagnosed with Cancer in 2011 was just one factor that added to my depression battle.

Lack of Mother and Baby units in Wales- Why talk about Units?

Wales and Northern Ireland do not have any mother and baby units. Women are not getting the right perinatal mental health care.

Today's standards which are highlighted below are apparently acceptable methods to treat new mothers with perinatal mental health:

• New mothers will be put in units watching and witnessing other patients with lots of other different mental health issues and problems.

• New mother will be without her baby which effects bonding and attachments problems

Prevention treatment as with cancer and other illnesses is the key to better health. Specialist units need to be available for everybody with mental health problems, because early prevention helps with the cure. Prevention also has an economic impact on the country because if the illness doesn't manifest it will not be a drain on other resources.

The fact of the matter is...We need more awareness and funding from the government for people who are suffering in silence. More research needs to be done and the information handed out needs to be up to date, for example: there is actually no hard evidence for one in four - or any other percentage where mental health is concerned. There has never been any research studied to look at the overall lifetime rates of mental illness in Britain. The closest thing we've had is the Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, run by the Office of National Statistics.

The latest research which was undertaken in 2007, found a rate of about one in four, 23%, but this asked people whether they'd suffered symptoms in the past week (for most disorders). We don't know what the corresponding rate for lifetime illness is, although it must be much higher than this.

Several studies for mental health have been completed in English speaking countries, however the most recent research of the US population found an estimated lifetime rate of no less than 50.8%. Another research in Dunedin, New Zealand, found that more than 50% of the people there had suffered from mental illness at least once by the age of 32.

It's a simple agenda to our government and other governments around the world...Lets take mental health into the year 2015. We need to spend more money on research for mental health, prevention services, crisis services and education and awareness of an illness that effects not only the person who is ill but the entire family.....just as cancer has.