In our county there is no specialist personality disorders service, despite NICE guidelines stating that mental health trusts should develop such services. Plans for a specialist PD service were disbanded last year after a decision was made to divert the money to a different department instead. Our clients were devastated at this news and felt it reflected a lack of prioritisation of their needs.
I want to see mental health addressed not just in our hospitals, but in our classrooms and communities. I want to see the stigma stripped away so that no-one in this country feels unable to talk about what they're going through or seek help. I want to see a focus on prevention as well as treatment, especially since so many adult mental health problems - which one in four of us will suffer from at any one time - begin in childhood. This is part of a wider approach to tackle the burning injustices we face in society, and to build a stronger, fairer Britain that works for everyone.
Into the New Year we go. The transition from one year into another will sound the 'change' alarm for many of us, representing the chance to better our lives in 2017 in some way or another.
This year, for the first time ever, mental health issues will be the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK. These issues have more than doubled since 2009 and are set to continue to rise.
Having recently displayed a sign in their flagship store that read: "I'm a psychotic mess but at least my eyebrows look good" they've been called out by just about everyone. Not just by the media, but by members of the public and mental health charities too. Ouch.
If you want to set yourself a resolution for 2017, make a resolution that you can do over time, that allows for mistakes and gradual progress rather than instantaneous results.
I wanted to share what I feel has really helped me turn a corner and hopefully, if you suffer with depression and anxiety too, you may find some of these ideas helpful. Remember, just like anything else, you have to put them into practice to see results.
User-generated content, bring your own device and big data were some of the fastest growing EdTech topics of 2016. Here are eight ideas and expert predictions for the year ahead.
I think these hurdles were harder to face because I have swallowed the notion at the core of resolution making; that I am project and life, with a few tweaks, should run increasingly smoothly.
Short term happiness is easy to come by, but can leave us feeling miserable and exhausted. My little list of happy makers will not bring you instant gratification like a glass of wine or slice of cake would, but trust me, as a person who has survived two mental breakdowns, these are tried and tested long-term happiness boosters!
Coping mechanisms come in all forms - whether it looks like a bottle of red after a tough day, avoidance of social situations or munching on biscuits all day at work. We either need to find alternative coping mechanisms for the circumstances we can't change, or address the source of stress and anxiety in the first place.
Carrie Fisher was greater than a trillion Star Wars, she was a comic genius. Like a composer hears notes in his/her head when composing, she would imagine words and phrases, craft them to perfection and reel out daisy chains of comic jewels. If the emails she's written me were ever published I know she'd win a Booker Prize. We'd often lie in bed together (not sexual) she'd call me 'mommy' and read out scrawls from her notebooks and I'd just lie there thinking, 'how lucky am I to have this woman as a friend?' To the end of my life I'll never get over that.
Being friends with Anorexia is not worth it. Whatever she tells you, the false promises, the affirmation, the encouragement. Whilst she feels like the best friend you could ever dream of it won't last. She doesn't care about you. She is just one big bully.
Which we don't; it turns out I'm among the almost 80% of people who fail to achieve our resolutions. This can have a massive impact on our mental health if we feel like we failed. We try to kick-start this new healthy life, filling the gyms with eager motivation, only to slip back into our old lifestyle before the end of January, full of shame.
While 2016 has been unanimously voted as a write-off, the volume of great music output has been astounding. However, sitting above everybody else is one man: Chance The Rapper.
The race to project our mourning the loudest on social media is unedifying and, in some cases, just part of the attention seeking done by a number of people online. Workaday suffering is drowned out by what you might call fashionable grief.