Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Mental health services in the UK

Everyone has issues, and sometimes issues related to everyday life can affect people in their place of work. However, being in the workplace is a lot more difficult for those with mental health problems. Many people are unable to work due to disabilities including mental health. In fact, in the UK 40% of people unable to work are claiming disability benefits due to psychological issues (according to the OECD report).

Part of the problem in the UK stems from the Government and their lack of understanding about these issues. The NHS are only able to offer help for 2 years, it might seem a long time but in complex cases, much longer would be needed in order to heal. In my case, I was offered 6 counselling sessions from the NHS, thankfully it was extended and my therapist assured me that I would not be left in a raw state. Being offered support is better than nothing but still may not be enough time for a survivor to heal.

Questions I believe that the UK Government should be asking in relation to mental health services and survivors:

  • How can we help survivors feel better?
  • How can we do more to understand what survivors go through on a daily basis?
  • How can we help survivors feel validated and supported?
  •           How can we help survivors to comfortably enter the workplace?
As a result of this year’s budget, it was good to see an extra £1.25 billion will be spent on mental health services in the UK. I understand that there is a budget for everything, however, what I still fail to understand is the support system, or lack thereof, for survivors. I believe that everyone deserves to be given a chance, including criminals. It seems to me that more effort goes into implementing rehabilitation programs in prisons. My question to the UK Government is: Why are survivors of crime not given the same level of support? 

I believe that the system in the UK is invalidating and demeaning to survivors. Perpetrators are given a second chance and often re-enter the workplace. Survivors deserve the same chance in life and have a right to rehabilitation.