Please Sign Petition: Equality 4 Mental Health

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Every day, though, sometimes more than once a day, sometimes all day, a coppery taste in my mouth, which I termed intense insipidity, heralded a session of helpless, bottomless misery in which I would lie curled in a fetal position on the sofa with tears leaking from my eyes, my brain boiling with a confusion of stuff not worth calling thought or imagery: it was more like shredded mental kelp marinaded in pure pain. During and after such attacks, I would be prostrate with inertia, as if all my energy had gone into a black hole.
Les Murray, Killing the Black Dog: A Memoir of Depression

An apt description of the misery of depression which is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems. Without exception mental illness is a serious and significant disability, it is long-term in many cases, often chronic becoming worse as time goes on, most particularly if left untreated. Did you know that by 2020 mental illness will be the biggest cause of mortality.  Yet understanding and treatment of this condition is neglected.

Please read the following rticle from the Huffington Post and sign the petition

Equality 4 Mental Health

Equality 4 Mental Health is a cross-party, cross-society campaign aimed at persuading the government to help reduce the suffering of those with mental ill health by increasing investment into the provision of mental health services.

I joined this campaign because it’s appalling that there isn’t parity between mental and physical health.

Any professional in the field will tell you that any activity in the brain affects the entire body, so why is there such a stigma if the most important organ in your body is malfunctioning? The research into Alzheimer’s and dementia is one of the most prevalent problems of this decade and these are brain diseases so why should depression or bi-polar be any different? Why is it that they’re discriminated against? The waiting lines for mental illness are endless, whereas, if you suffer from a physical illness you will certainly be seen.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ruby-wax/equality-4-mental-health_b_8459466.html

Please sign the following petition.

Equality for mental health is a cross-party, cross-society campaign aimed at persuading the Government to help reduce the suffering of those with mental ill health by increasing investment into the provision of mental health services.

http://equality4mentalhealth.uk/

Please share this petition widley.  Please tweet #equality4mentalhealth and help spread the word:
https://twitter.com/hashtag/equality4mentalhealth

Be sure to read the petition information along with a list of ten concerns regarding mental health. I think an additional concern should be included, namely the DWPs shocking treatment of mentally ill people concerning benefit sanctions – more than 100 people with mental health issues have their benefits sanctioned every day. There were almost 20,000 benefits sanctions received by people who were out of work because of their mental health last year Without a doubt benefit sanctions are damaging mental health and the government refuses to examine the effect of its benefit sanctions system on the mental health of people who are affected by it.

Check out the comments section in the Huffington Post article where a parent has shared her experiences with the difficulties of trying to get a diagnosis and treatment for her very sick daughter.

“My daughter was diagnosed with ASD when she was thirteen, it took two years to get a diagnosis, during which time her mental health deteriorated so dramatically that by the age of fourteen she had symptoms of a psychosis. We had to take her to A and E to receive emergency treatment because even whilst she was classed as an emergency, the waiting time for a referral to CAHMS was six weeks. She was desperately ill and suicidal (because of disturbing intrusive thoughts) but we were told if we couldn’t cope, we should phone an ambulance and they would try to find her a hospital place, which could be anywhere in the country (even though there was the right facility just five minutes drive from us, there were no beds) If no beds were available nationally, she would be taken to a police station. We were determined not to let this happen and thankfully once the medication began to work her condition stabilised. She was later diagnosed with OCD which presents symptoms of a psychosis in severe cases. The tragedy is she suffered for a long time: not days, weeks or months but years. I can’t help but think all this was preventable, because she was eleven years old when I first went to my GP and spoke to him about her increasing levels of anxiety and social isolation. She is slowly getting better now but her childhood has been lost and the scars are permanent.”

Sadly so far this is but one of only two comments which shows just how much the general public give a damn about mental illness.

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) in many cases is a severe and an incredibly disabling condition. The World Health Organisation rate OCD as one of the top 10 debilitating illnesses.

Regarding the above comment it has to be said that getting a diagnosis can be one of the greatest hurdles to receiving appropriate support and treatment. Even a few decades ago someone with OCD would likely be told that they suffered from anxiety without the more definite and precise diagnosis of OCD. Without a diagnosis not only is it difficult to get the correct therapy but the person themselves, relatives or significant others can do little accurate research into the problems the sufferer is experiencing or learn how to best support the sufferer. Moreover getting benefits is much more difficult without a formal diagnosis. I know of someone who went for several years simply being told that her obsessions and compulsions were due to anxiety and it was not until the person was admitted to a mental hospital did she receive a formal diagnosis.

Few people understand the misery of mental illness, the loneliness, the isolation, the hopelessness and the despair unless they themselves suffer in this way. Sympathy is lacking, ignorance abounds. People who suffer with mental health problems are among the most vulnerable in our society. Yet few people speak out on their behalf. A sufferer of any mental health problem, be it agoraphobia or schizophrenia, often do not have the where with all to seek treatment or stand up for their rights and this latter is mostly likely why this evil government has focused its attention on picking on the mentally ill in their endeavours to reduce the benefit bill.

Please take action and sign the petition and get others to do so.

Related Links

My son’s struggle with OCD showed me the unfairness people with mental illness face

“My insight from our experience is of how mental ill health, left untreated, robs the person of happiness and has a profound impact on families.”

Read the complete article:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/04/ocd-mental-illness-services-wellbeing-families?CMP=share_btn_tw  – Note in the article that unlike people with a physical illness sufferers of mental health conditions do not get a right to choose where they get treatment  – it was excluded from the legal right of choice.

Mentally ill girl’s two days in police cell ‘heartbreaking’

“A mentally ill teenager who was held in a cell for two days due to a lack of hospital beds suffered “heartbreaking” failings in her care, her mother says.

The 16-year-old girl was arrested in November and later sectioned. But, with no bed available, she spent two days in a cell at Torquay police station.”

“When I walked in and saw her lying there, on that floor… heartbreaking,” she said.

“She was on a blue thing on the floor – it’s not even what you class as a police bed.

“She needed the right help. The police, I can’t fault them, they did an amazing job looking after my child.”

Read the complete article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-30917334

Public figures sign letter seeking equality for mental health
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/02/public-figures-sign-letter-seeking-equality-mental-health

Self-harm by mental health patients in NHS has risen by 56%, figures show
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/27/self-harm-suicide-mental-health-patients-nhs-rises-56-per-cent

A selection of quotations concerning mental illness

Though many schizophrenics become curiously attached to their delusions, the fading of the nondelusional world puts them in loneliness beyond all reckoning, a fixed residence on a noxious private planet they can never leave, and where they can receive no visitors.
Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

It seemed to me the basic definition of mental illness, this persistent, painful inability to simply be with someone else. It might be lifelong, or it might descend like a sudden catastrophe, this blankness between ourselves and the rest of the world. The blankness might not even be obvious to others. But on our side of that severed connection, it was hell, a life lived behind glass. The only difference between mild depression and severe schizophrenia was the amount of sound and air that seeped in.
Tracy Thompson, The Beast: A Reckoning with Depression

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. 
John Milton, Paradise Lost

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8 thoughts on “Please Sign Petition: Equality 4 Mental Health

  1. Nice post. Lovely John Milton quote – I need to remind myself of that more often.

    It is shameful how we treat people with mental illness and how limited the resources are for help. I’m glad society is becoming (gradually) more aware of the extent of the problem.

    • Thank you for your comment. Society’s increase in awareness albeit slowly could not have begun at a better time when already limited resources are constantly being reduced even further and while the DWP targets mental health sufferers with benefit sanctions, cuts to income along with other punitive measures in their unjust endeavours to reduce the welfare bill.

  2. I have been diagnosed with a Mental Health problem aged 42 , although I am greatful it could have been diagnosed in my teens. I am lucky to be alive but it had caused years of anguish to myself and others. I believe that it is in our family and the whole family is separated.
    Mental health problems are more common than I believed . I think it is probably a high factor in relationship, family breakdown , unemployment, suicides , addictions etc.

    I have also felt like a loser for most of these years as I kept thinking “What is wrong with me, why cant I be normal”. Ive also found out that the anti deppresants that I’ve been taking on & off since 17 were not any good for my condition so I had been trying to battle things on my own un-medicated. I cant get those years back but I hope that the generations coming threw do not have to put up with this.xxxx

    • Thank you for commenting. I am sorry to hear that it took so long for you to get a diagnosis. I consider a diagnosis vital otherwise not only can there be delays in treatment but the person is left not knowing the reasons why their life is going the way it is. A diagnosis can be a relief in itself, just to know what is wrong can be so liberating. To put a name to your suffering is so essential towards learning how to cope. Yet it can take so long and I find mental health practioners so reluctant to give a precise diagnosis.

      I agree that mental health problems affect all aspects of ones life particularly relationships and employment. In my opinion a mental health condition can be a profound disability not only effecting your mind but your body also.

      Never think you are a loser, mental health conditions are illnesses just like any other and in some cases worse as your very thinking processes are effected. I firmly believe mental illnesses are of neurological nature, though therapy such as CBT may help some people to learn to cope with mental illness it is not the whole answer, sufferers also need on going support. Mental health problems most certainly run in families so are I believe genetic. Sadly little is known about mental health. It is sad that still today mental health is stigmatised and there is less treatment available than there is for physical conditions. Like you I hope that for future generation’s diagnosis and therapy improves and is more readily available and people are not just fobbed off with antidepressants which as you say do not work for everyone.I also hope that one day there will generally be more sympathy for people with mental health problems and a greater understanding of the misery they bring to both the suffer and those closest to them.I wish you well and hope you get the therapy and support that you need.

      • Thankyou so much for your detailed , kind hearted & knowledgeable reply. After my rant I went back & read the post properly.

        I think that Mental Health issues scare people , as is the case with most things that we don’t understand.
        We need to see more about symptoms instead of labels & stigma.
        As more people are diagnosed people will start caring as it will effect most people.
        It must be so frustrating as a parent to see your child suffering & feel helpless.
        The benefits situation is cruel stopping peoples benefits when often its the only stability they have.
        This blog is motivating me to take action. Hang in there lol xxxxx

        • Just to say I agree that as more people are diagnosed and symptoms are clearly explained than maybe more people would care. Though I think it will continue to be more difficult for a person with a mental health problem to get and keep a job without significantly more support than is available. The government know this and are simply focusing on people with this type of condition as they know they are less likely to challenge the injustice of forcing people to find jobs that they are unlikely well enough to cope with, unlikely to be offered and are in any case in short supply. All stopping benefits does is make people more ill and this applies also to the physically ill who than become more anxious and depressed as a result. Thanks for the follow.

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