I often find myself considering the thorny issue of mental health. Sadly, it would seem, in my humble opinion, that mental health is considered the poor relation to physical health. What constantly amazes me is it doesn’t seem to change. Mental health, at the moment, seems to be geared to dealing with the emergencies, the headline grabbing moments, rather than concentrating on maintaining a good mental health. I wonder if we all maintained a good mental health if these drastic measures would be needed as much, and how much this country might save?
It seems too simplistic really, but mental health does impact on everything – physical health, work, relationships, how we interact with others, and so on. If and it’s a big if our mental health was good, and we were in a good place, feeling optimistic, how would this impact on the morale of the country? Maybe I’m just a naive hopeful individual, but if we truly took care of this, I feel things would be very different.
I am still surprised when faced with the mental health stigma, clients reporting they haven’t felt able to tell family and friends, they are in counselling. I suppose I am so used to being in the world of counselling, it’s hard to comprehend. During training, I undertook weekly counselling sessions for three years, it was amazing. I learnt so much about myself, how I am in relationship, and the things I wanted to change. I would not hesitate if I ever felt the need again to return to it. Counselling is brilliant, well, I would say that, but it gives you the opportunity to explore all sorts of issues with someone who is non-judgemental and non-oppressive, where else would you get that? I can only hope in the coming years this stigma changes, it needs to for the sake of people’s health.
If it could be proved that concentrating on mental health would lead to actually saving money maybe those in charge of the purse of the nation might let some go to the provision. Currently my experience is that clients struggle to find any help with waiting lists stretching far in the future without any chance of it being changed. A diagnosis of Asperger’s can take up to two years for an adult, unless, of course, you can pay for it. The provision for care after you receive the diagnosis is piecemeal at best. I have clients who would benefit from support, but there is none. As for the P.I.P system, well, don’t get me started! It seems to be highly unfair and draconian in it’s view of mental health – again adding to the stigma. I am hopeful things will change, the more these issues are in the news and are on social media, the more people will talk about them. So keep posting!