THE BLOG

Time to Listen and Change Views on Mental Health

15/04/2014 15:51 BST | Updated 14/06/2014 10:59 BST

Being diagnosed with Mental Health, in particular Depression and Anxiety at the age of 14 years was not easy to cope with. I worried about telling other people that I had Mental Health, it was never taught on the school curriculum and it appeared to me at the time, that many wouldn't understand the condition. So I kept quiet and didn't tell many people. I did change though, instead of wanting to be involved and want friends, I wanted to be alone and as a result of endless arguments, misunderstandings and unhealthy debates, I lost a great deal of my 'friends'. If only I had told them I had Mental Health to begin with, maybe things would have been different? Those with Mental Health will be able to see my point, getting a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or a doctor is hard to begin with, especially when you don't know who to tell and who to ask for help from.

School-life was very challenging for me, as mentioned I lost a good amount of friends and studying seemed intolerable for me. I didn't want to be in school, because I was bullied and not understood by both staff and students. It began to feel as if I was alone, being isolated wasn't nice and it wasn't right. I know people may say I could have included myself, but I didn't see the point, if I wasn't being involved then I wouldn't bother. I recall some people in my secondary school were so horrible, I was bullied for 'being different' and even got attacked a few times in school. I believed I deserved to be at the time, but I certainly didn't. Violence never solves problems and certainly was not a great thing to happen to me. The people that turned against me and the ones that did these horrible things were the ones with the problem. Bullying should not be tolerated, but I do appreciate that the bullies sometimes have their own 'issues', but taking it out on others shouldn't occur. The only way I think bullying will be addressed is if the schools (some schools are great at bullying policies) act and take a better stand against it. If my secondary school did this, then maybe I wouldn't have failed my GCSES due to not wanting to attend my last few years at school. Things got hard for me, the bullying was hard to cope with and I couldn't cope with the people that tried to provoke me into arguments. I recall throwing an object at somebody who was constantly passing hurtful comments at me, I lost control and this was when things started to go downhill for me. Yet I was the person excluded from school! Being on anti-depressants, I decided that I would overdose on them and try to end the pain of feeling down, fortunately this suicide attempt didn't work.

After the diagnosis with Mental Health, my school were informed. But nothing different happened, I wasn't offered more support or a teaching assistant to help me cope. I just sat in with everyone else and it became hard, especially because of my anxiety. I was anxious being around these people and the bullying was even harder. I had a great deal of stigma to contend with.

According to BBC News, "More under 18s were cared for on adult mental health wards in the first eight months of 2013-14, than in the whole of the previous year, NHS figures show."
This concerns me, not only because of understanding the process myself but because of government cutbacks to Mental Health. "England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, is among those calling for greater focus on mental health services for children, including a new survey to look at the extent of the problem. She told MPs last week: "We don't have enough data on mental health problems in children - the last survey was in 2004."

My view is schools should make Mental Health part of the curriculum and a core module! No longer should mental health be hidden, it should be acknowledged. It's time for those who have Mental Health to receive better care and understanding and for those who judged and misunderstand those with Mental Health to properly understand the condition and be less judging. Never judge a book by its cover, so don't judge a person by their differences. The government should stop making the cuts to the NHS and closing down crisis wards. "Mental health trust budgets for 2013-14 have fallen by 2.3% from 2011-12. The cuts have meant mental health trusts have been asked to save almost 20% more from next year's budgets than hospitals."

Isn't it time Mental Health receives investment to supply understanding and knowledge in the young and community?