After our hyper political season with the party conferences, one of the big questions was how to lower waiting times for mental health in our NHS which has only been answered by one party; The Liberal Democrats.
Over the past weeks I have had the pleasure of meeting young people who have suffered from these long waiting times and lack of support given, which then drove them to become more and more unwell.
One of the inspirational young people I met was 18 year old Rebecca Sweeney and now she shares her experience of treatments for mental health in our systems.
Here it is;
"Getting help from the NHS can go one of two ways but if you're like me, you can go down both paths.
When I was younger and suffering from mental health issues such as depression and an eating disorder, the help I got was great. I didn't have to wait to go to counselling and when the sessions took place they were fun, I felt like I could speak openly. I wrote myself agreed targets which we would work together on and when I went to counselling it wasn't just the same boring old rooms- we got to go out and go for a coffee to make it less intense which made it more comfortable to talk about things. The sessions became something I would look forward too until I was 16 when I had to be discharged as I became too old to be seen by that organisation.
Although it wasn't long until I started feeling that hatred for myself, the sadness and anxiety began to take over my life once again.
My parents and I decided it would be best to go to the doctors to see if they could do anything to help me because the countless breakdowns just drained me of everything, I had lost myself.
The doctor then gave me two choices, the only two choices that seem to be available; tablets or counselling. Saying no to tablets was an easy choice for me, I never got how they could help, it's just a temporary solution to me- how can tablets take away such sadness and hatred for yourself? That then left me with one other choice- counselling.
There was a really long waiting list that took about 3 months until I was actually seen, that time was spent getting worse by the day with my mood sinking lower and lower and worrying about every little thing imaginable which effected friendships and relationships.
Eventually I got support but my psychologist was not compassionate. She just didn't seem to understand, It just felt a little too patronising.
I started to get better yes, but it could have a completely different way with these long waiting times.
It could have gone two ways with such a long waiting list, things could have gotten so bad that suicide became a possibility as I could have given up with everything and not even tried or I could have used it to my power and shown myself that I am a stronger person who can do it on my own. As I am still here I guess we all know which way I chose but I can't say the same for others who I'm sure have given up on that long waiting list and life".
This story shows the failure of our government and past governments to support young people suffering from mental health issues.
Nick Clegg said the Lib Dems will try to end the inequality in treatment of mental illness in our NHS.
The promise of more funding is good but this has been heard before let's choose lives above profits and take a stand.