After watching Panorama’s recent documentary tonight, I’m appalled at the state of mental health care. Of course, this is not the first reminder of the terrible state the government cuts have reduced the trusts to, but it’s an imperative reminder to all of us that we need to raise awareness for those vulnerable citizens silenced by their psychological disorders.
Firstly, the assessment of those “less ill” to free more beds for furthermore patients. Sickening. A patient who had the intention of committing suicide at a train station shouldn’t be “assessed” on whether or not they’re worthy of a bed: this is nonnegotiable. Vulnerable citizens are silenced due to their psychological conditions which is the most shameful fact of all. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: a cancer patient or a terminally ill patient ill not be refused a bed, neither will they be “assessed” on how unwell they are. They’d be given a bed as soon as possible, with the professionals working as hard as they can to get them on the road to recovery, or at least to make sure they’re not suffering as much. Why aren’t mental health patients treated with the same urgency?
How can patients, who are assessed to be suffering from their health conditions to a great extent, but not as great as other patients, say suicidal, be cast out into the community with no social help or support system to rely on if they relapse? Where’s the security that they’ll be helped if they ever feel vulnerable or have a bad day? This isn’t just a disgrace, it’s an atrocity and complete disregard for mental health sufferers.
Fundamentally, patients are judged on their suffering. As someone who’s been rushed to a&e 11 times over the past two years with multiple health conditions, I know that patients are assessed on how much pain they’re in. The more pain you’re in, the quicker you are treated. As a sufferer of anxiety which almost crippled me to not leaving my house for weeks on end, my parents and I felt I had no choice but to receive private help as my condition was too serious to be thrown onto a waiting list, which could take up to six months. This is where the problem lies, and where it will continue to lie until the stigma attached to mental health has dissolved. Most people cannot afford private healthcare, let alone private mental healthcare. How can the government expect a patient to pay £1000 a day to receive help and support which needs to be offered free, and is easily accessible?
I urge as many of you as possible to sign the petition below, which, if 100,000 signatures are received, the parliament will be obliged to take action and debate the bed crisis.
This is an increasingly concerning situation and we are all ambassadors for those in need of our support and help. Together we can make a difference, and we will.