conservatives posts

4 Ways In Which The NHS Mental Health Service Is Making Us Sicker

April 28, 2016

An uncomfortable cocktail of depression and anxiety has been dubbed the most common mental disorder in the UK at present, the International Business Times reported during Depression Awareness Week (18th-24th April). With around a quarter of the population set to find themselves in the throes of some mental disorder guise in the coming year, the UK’s collective mental health is deteriorating – and quickly. This would be disconcerting enough, had Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt not decided to all but obliterate the mental health budget, slashing a £1.5 million chunk in Manchester recently alone, to make up for a 7m budget shortfall.

Having suffered with a veritable smorgasbord of mental health issues since my early teens, I’ve experienced firsthand the gradual, crushing damage that has been done to the NHS mental health system over the past decade. As someone looking once again for assistance to get myself back on my feet, finding a wall built with more reinforcement than that of my depression itself; it’s become apparent that the their shortcomings are not only failing us by ignoring the issue: they’re worsening it.

So today I thought I’d pull some absolute corkers from my own little collection of frankly terrifying anecdotes, to basically remind you that we’re all absolutely screwed and thanks a fucking tonne for voting the Tories in:

  • Of all the people I know – friends/colleagues past and present/family/Internet folk – I haven’t met a single person who has gone to the GP with a mental health issue and left without being essentially told to ride it out for a couple of weeks and slung a prescription for anti-depressants/anxieties. And this is including people who have attempted suicide or overdosed – of which I know somebody who is STILL waiting for an appointment for psychotherapy MONTHS after the incident…

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  • The fact that GPs are now more hesitant to prescribe antibiotics than they are anti-depressants/anxieties is alarming. That’s before taking into consideration the fact that these mini mind-fucks may sound to a suffering person like a miracle quick fix, but that isn’t always the case. In my third year of university I finally succumbed to the lure of medication after seeing no way out and, upon taking them, found myself 3598347598745% more unwell than before due to an influx of panic attacks and hallucinations…

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  • I once got told “Next time you feel like doing this, just go out with your girlfriends and have a glass of wine!” by a nurse in A&E after self-harming so badly I couldn’t walk properly for a week afterwards. The amount of horror stories flitting around surrounding ineptitude when dealing with those in vulnerable positions is genuinely frightening – especially for those suffering from eating disorders, often sent away from GPs for not being ‘thin enough’ for treatment…

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  • Waiting lists. These were the inspiration behind this post and I could write an entirely separate one solely on this bulletpoint. After finally admitting that I needed a therapist again after 3 years of insisting I was a-ok (funny joke), I recently got myself referred by a GP for a new round of counselling/CBT sessions. After inevitably being thrown a prescription for medication (deftly binned), they told me to contact a service for a telephone triage – which I did. It then transpired, after a very personal and uncomfortable 30 minute interview, that I needed a different service and would need to SELF-refer, despite being initially referred by a GP. I’m now waiting for a self-referral form and have to send that back for consideration before even being placed on the 6 week+ waiting list. This is now commonplace…

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  • The worst part is: it isn’t even their fault. With only 5.5% of the country’s health research budget going into mental health, we’re being set up to fail on a longterm basis. Not to mention a 10.8% decrease in practicing psychiatric nurses across Britain in 2015 alone. Nice one, C-… Hunt.

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If you’ve found yourself in any situation akin to the above, please drop me a comment or tweet me @Ebzo – there needs to be more dialogue about this and less apathy (says the depressive).


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com