When I think of my almost eight year battle with Mental Health, I think of the good and bad factors behind my up and down days. Everyone that experiences Mental Health will be different so their reactions to the factors that have helped me and made me feel worse, may be ever so different. For instance, I found that 'genuine friends' made a different to my Mental Health during the final few years of my teenage life. I found a negative factor was being judged and discussed amongst others and not being understood. Many times I felt I was alone until I realized many others have Mental Health and it annoys me, that yet again our Government is affecting health through making more cutbacks and services harder to access.
I recently went to my doctor and asked for some help, there is currently a six month waiting list for referrals! Can you believe this? I cannot begin to explain the need of Mental Health sufferers being able to access immediate help with their suffering. 6 months of waiting is not acceptable, their state could worsen, they may not have anybody to talk with and this could result in suicide. Which could have been prevented if the right support and understanding was had.
Today, 6th May, I read that Mental Health patients were being forced to travel hundreds of miles for care and am stunned by this.
"Mental health trusts are having to cope with cuts of more than 1,700 beds over the past two years, and the problems in the system have come to light following a joint investigation between BBC News and the online journal.(BBC News, 2014)
What makes this worrying is the fact that some patients with Mental Health cannot access these other facilities due to not being able to drive or financially unable due to not working because of their Mental Health. This situation has become a lot worse than most of us are aware. Just looking at the NHS and their impact on Mental Health, it has become apparent that the National Health Service, likely due to our Government, is risking thousands of lives because of ignorance and incompetence in identifying the need for more services and better facilities to those with Mental Health. Why should you have to travel hundreds of miles to get care and support? You should be able to get this immediately from your doctors, without the waiting list and the referral to hundreds of miles away place.
Fortunately for this article, I have been able to find a true-life example from the BBC, regarding a case of how this illogical decision to cut facilities available to sufferers has effected a person's life and her journey with Mental Health. Bearing in mind, keeping your family close and 'genuine' friends around, does help with coping some-days.
The 32-year-old from York, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was taken to a hospital in London, 200 miles (320km) away, in the middle of the night when health officials couldn't find a bed for her closer to home. Though she praises her treatment, she says it was a "shock to the system" and the distance was difficult to cope with.With me not being near friends and family I suffered, I had anxiety, I wanted to speak to people and have familiarity around me," she said." (BBC News, 2014)
And this example, just shows us that the cutbacks are having a detrimental effect on people's recovery or adjusting to living with Mental Health conditions, why are they making it even harder to get to facilities and get the help?
Although being able to have a bed and this support, may dazzle some people as to what this actually provides, this service can be most useful even if for a few hours or days. It is better than letting somebody with Mental Health go a few more hours or days without the support they so rightfully deserve.
Shockingly other Mental Health sufferers had to travel much further.
Other patients have had to travel even further, with people being sent from Devon to West Yorkshire (300 miles), and Oxford to Teesside (240 miles).(BBC News, 2014)
So, my question to our Government, which is supposed to have the public's best interests at heart and work for our communities, is why on earth do you keep making these ridiculous and risk-taking decisions to keep cutting services and facilities available to those with Mental Health? And why are you not seeing this as a problem? There are more important things than money involved here, we're talking about the lives of thousands living with Mental Health and it is totally unacceptable what you're doing. And how can they justify the 6 months waiting lists? If suicide is thought about daily, some sufferers may not have 6 hours, it totally shocks me and many others, and I am sure.
Have you experienced the problem of waiting lists or not being able to get a bed and support? If so, please get in touch!