Just My Opinions

This post is a long one!!!! I’m assuming not many people will actually get to the end so I’m gunna start initially with shameless self promotion with a link to my Just Giving Crowd Funding page.

Please help if you can.

A couple of weeks ago I was pointed towards this 82 page report for information of funding figures, I sat down to read it and after about 2 pages I lost the ability to concentrate. So I cheated, in Adobe reader I used the search option and simply searched for “£”.

If you have got an endless amount of patience here’s the link to the report.

It has taken me a couple of weeks to put this post together, it’s unlike any post I’ve done before as it includes statistics and official information. I’ve even tried to use proper language instead of my usual slang and I’ve not sworn once….

I’m guessing those who know me will be able to spot the times when I got bored, frustrated and thought about giving up all together.

The reports words are in black and my words are blue, probably stating the obvious but hey ho….

THE FIVE YEAR FORWARD VIEW FOR MENTAL HEALTH
A report from the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England February 2016

FOREWORD
For far too long, people of all ages with mental health problems have been stigmatised and marginalised, all too often experiencing an NHS that treats their minds and bodies separately. Mental health services have been underfunded for decades, and too many people have received no help at all, leading to hundreds of thousands of lives put on hold or ruined, and thousands of tragic and unnecessary deaths.

To read the first sentence makes me angry, how is it possible that this stigma still exists. Like everything in this world we can all speak with good intentions about changing things but the more we talk and talk and talk about changing it nothing actually gets done to change it…. Sorry but this is a ducking disgrace!!!! Having already been made angry by the first sentence we then come to the next bit about underfunding for decades…. No ship Sherlock!!!! How much did this report and investigation cost???? I could not care less if this is down to the conservatives or labour, as it’s been underfunded for decades ALL political parties have let us down. I’m not interested in the stories about the politicians wanting to privatise the NHS to save the government a lot of money, however if it is true that this is what politicians want then they must strap on a pair and tell us the truth. If the problems aren’t fixable in the current state then we have to find another way, not in 2020…. Now!!!! If I’ve heard Cameron and other politicians announce an extra £1 Billion for the NHS I’ve heard it 100 times. But hold on as this report says right from the start that mental health services have been underfunded for decades is the answer to underfund for another 4 years before committing another £1 billion in 2020…. The answer to that by the way is No!!!! When we have headlines like the following on the 16th February on BBC News we haven’t got another 4 years to wait: –

BBC News at One first 2 sentences
“Biggest ever review of NHS Mental Health Services in England has found that MOST patients are being failed”

“Ministers accept there’s a problem & have pledged an extra billion pounds a year on improving psychiatric services”

BBC News at Six first 2 sentences
“The mental health failures in England that have led to thousands of deaths”

“A new report says 3 out of 4 people with mental illness get no help at all, government under pressure to take action”

Anyway from what I can tell this extra £1 billion that is arriving urgently in 2020 (let’s just remind ourselves of one of those headlines, “The mental health failures in England that have led to thousands of deaths”, just about replaces all the cuts from the NHS budget in the last few years.

Besides which £1 billion is a drop in the ocean and fixing mental health services is not all about money, if it was all about money when the NHS and our councils all over the country had more money than sense they would of fixed these things then…. Or would they of just spent year after year wasting money?

But in recent years, the picture has started to change. Public attitudes towards mental health are improving, and there is a growing commitment among communities, workplaces, schools and within government to change the way we think about it. There is now a cross-party, cross-society consensus on what needs to change and a real desire to shift towards prevention and transform NHS care.

Agreed, public attitudes towards mental health have changed, for me this is more important than pledges of money that won’t arrive or if it does arrive is only replacing the money that’s been cut before (for example £600 million cut). Here’s a little problem to consider for the near future…. The NHS mental health budget is stretched to breaking point, lots of people are working hard to break down and get rid of the stigma that surrounds mental illness, if we manage to get rid of all stigma this will allow millions of more people to ask for help and when they do ask for help the help just won’t be there. Back in September 2015 I attended a Dudley CCG forum after the opening presentation I spoke first and said this:-

“Your presentation was Nonsensical – you’ve said one in three GP posts are empty, your budget is a breaking point already so you can’t afford to pay for any new GP’s and then you say you want to reduce people going to Russell’s Hall by sending them to the GP’s that you’ve already said don’t exist cus of lack of money. The second slide which states acute healthcare cost 53% of the £441 million budget sums it all up, because the system that you finance has been broken for so long. You then ask “wear are we” I would suggest wear you are is no where and all the NHS seem to be trying to do is get volunteers to do stuff for free.

Your whole presentation is about what Challenges you have, but you give no answers, again looking at the second slide the CCG Management costs £6.87 million (1.56% of the budget) to put together a slide show and ask the public for help….”

For so many years the acute/crisis care has sucked up a massive amount of any cash available, the only way we can even begin to make progress with the current disaster that is the NHS mental health system is prevention by ensuring the services are there a hell of a lot earlier than they are now. As people start to see the stigma is going away they will be able to step forward without shame and talk to their GP’s about depression and what will happen? They will be bunged medication and sent away with the words “you should start to feel the difference in about 2 weeks” absolute poppycock, from personal experience and from speaking to many others if you begin to feel the difference in 2 weeks then you are amazingly lucky!!!! Also from personal experience and through speaking to many others if anything you will more than likely feel worse for the first few weeks. Now I don’t have any issues with meds, without my meds I wouldn’t even want to imagine what life would be like but is it the right place to start? Possibly it is…. But is “just” meds and go away the right approach? More than likely NO!!!! If you go through a number of months and the meds have taken the edge off, maybe stopped the highs and lows, maybe you don’t now burst into tears spontaneously, maybe you feel a little bit stronger or maybe a bit zombiefied (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing sometimes) perhaps you haven’t made the progress you and your GP would like chances are the next step will be some sort of talking therapy. Being offered some talking therapy could well be the beginning of your recovery, what won’t help the beginning of your recovery is being told you are being put forward for a counsellor and being told the waiting list is 3, 4, 6 months or more, this wait is simply unacceptable!!!! This is make or break time and because of the waiting lists more often than not it will end up being break time, the opportunity to make an “early intervention” has gone and will NEVER be available again. After a certain period of time in the mental health wilderness people become institutionalised in their own surroundings, if they’ve been off work for 3 or 4 months the likelihood of them getting back to their previous job has been reduced massively and they are now part of the £105 billion cost to the economy that is quoted in this report. The delays in getting any useful help at all then drains the employment costs later quoted (On employment, the Department of Work and Pensions forecasts that it will spend £2.8 billion in total payments to contractors to help people into work under the Work Programme between June 2011 and March 2020.) So to sum up the pathetic primary care system letting thousands of people down everyday is and will continue to cause the problem that unless it is looked at honestly and openly will never be fixed!!!! (I find it difficult these days to say “the pathetic primary care system….” As I know there are fantastic people working very hard in primary mental health care, however I hear all to often that people can’t access an initial support for their mental health needs, in fact the last time I heard this was last night whilst I was at a meeting held by the Dudley CCG).

This independent report of the Mental Health Taskforce sets out the start of a ten year journey for that transformation, commissioned by Simon Stevens on behalf of the NHS. We have placed the experience of people with mental health problems at the heart of it. Over 20,000 people told us of the changes they wanted to see so that they could fulfil their life ambitions and take their places as equal citizens in our society. They told us that their priorities were prevention, access, integration, quality and a positive experience of care. Their voices are quoted in this report and their views are reflected in our recommendations.

I can say from personal experience that the establishment is definitely listening and that’s positive, but I’m 100% sure they are only listening because they have no other choice. My guess is that these members of the establishment are the same people who as stated in this report were complicit in “Mental health services have been underfunded for decades, and too many people have received no help at all, leading to hundreds of thousands of lives put on hold or ruined, and thousands of tragic and unnecessary deaths.” To come to this conclusion these people have known for years that “hundreds of thousands of lives have been put on hold or ruined, and thousands of tragic and unnecessary death” and CHOSEN to do nothing about it. Yes they are listening but to keep re-announcing an extra £1 billion is just a sound bite and according to the statistics I can find and my maths is only just replacing the many cuts the system has already experienced, not forgetting this £1 billion isn’t coming until 2020. To report the system has been underfunded for years, many lives have been ruined and lost and then do nothing about it financially for another 4 years is simply a disgrace. It’s as pointless in having a dead cert winner and putting the bet on after the race has finished….

First, we have made a set of recommendations for the six NHS arm’s length bodies to achieve the ambition of parity of esteem between mental and physical health for children, young people, adults and older people.

Absolutely 100% behind this, who wouldn’t be? Because I have regular contact with the chair of the All Party Political Group working for parity of esteem for mental health I am going to tread lightly around this subject. Do I think parity of esteem will ever happen? No. Do I think it is a worthwhile aim? Yes. However I have a number of small concerns…. I don’t think it is unfair or incorrect of me to say that the whole of the NHS physical and mental isn’t in the best shape it could be and if I can say that then I also feel I can to say that getting parity of esteem for mental health in line with physical health isn’t a brilliant end goal even if it is achieved. Having said these exact words to the chair of the APPG I know it’s not as simple as that, there’s a whole lot of complicated and important targets that have to be achieved in the parity of esteem process. Going back to the question “Do I think parity of esteem will ever happen? No.” My answer of No pains me and following my trip to meet with James Morris MP at the Houses of Parliament and speaking with him on this subject if I am offered the chance to get involved with this process I would jump on board without a second thought, because any progress is massively important and we can’t just leave it to the establishment, we as individuals must step up and tell the establishment how it actually is and what they should be doing because we are “experts by experience” and our input is invaluable!!!!

Just one other thing on parity of esteem, if parity of esteem is our first target point then we must work towards that and be careful that we are not asking for special treatment. A couple of weeks ago there was a lot on the news about mentally ill people having to travel hundreds of miles to get the treatment they need, whilst I totally agree this is not ideal and can and will cause distress to the mentally ill person and their families I would ask the question, is this not happening on the physical side of the NHS? If someone needs specialist care either mental or physical then getting that care where it is available is better than getting no care. Saying this makes me uncomfortable and uneasy with myself as a person but I’m unable to not say it just because some people will disagree with me, if I’d had the opportunity of specialist care back in June 2013 when I had my mental breakdown I’d of took it no matter how far away it was just to feel safe and not scared about wanting to kill myself.

Second, we set out recommendations where wider action is needed. Many people told us that, as well as access to good quality mental health care wherever they are seen in the NHS, their main ambition was to have a decent place to live, a job or good quality relationships in their local communities. Making this happen will require a cross government approach.

I’m going to be brief on this one…. Does there really have to be an investigation and consultations probably costing a serious amount of money and people’s time to come this conclusion and make “recommendations”…. FFS!!!!

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Finally, we have placed a particular focus on tackling inequalities. Mental health problems disproportionately affect people living in poverty, those who are unemployed and who already face discrimination. For too many, especially black, Asian and minority ethnic people, their first experience of mental health care comes when they are detained under the Mental Health Act, often with police involvement, followed by a long stay in hospital. To truly address this, we have to tackle inequalities at local and national level.

Again very briefley…. No ship Sherlock!!!! FFS!!!!

(You may spot this is the place I began to get bored and frustrated, but at least I avoided swearing)

Also if there is a “particular focus” on tackling inequalities and poverty why has the House of Commons tried to reduce ESA (Employment Support Allowance) twice, both times being blocked by the House of Lords and why are they trying to reduce the ESA by £30 a week for a third time?

We want to thank all the Taskforce members, and the tens of thousands of people who contributed to and helped to co-produce this report.

THE FIVE YEAR FORWARD VIEW FOR MENTAL HEALTH

A report from the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England February 2016

“The NHS needs a far more proactive and preventative approach to reduce the long term impact for people experiencing mental health problems and for their families, and to reduce costs for the NHS and emergency services”.

In my local borough the CCG quote the figure of 53% of their £411 million budget is spent on acute care. In order to have a “far more proactive and preventative approach” it couldn’t be simpler…. Simply quick access to proper help remove GP’s from the process as quickly as possible, and very importantly continue to work hard to reduce mental health stigma.

Mental health problems are widespread, at times disabling, yet often hidden. People who would go to their GP with chest pains will suffer depression or anxiety in silence. One in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year. People in all walks of life can be affected and at any point in their lives, including new mothers, children, teenagers, adults and older people. Mental health problems represent the largest single cause of disability in the UK. The cost to the economy is estimated at £105 billion a year – roughly the cost of the entire NHS.

Interesting statistic that “one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year” if they don’t get diagnosed early then things can only get worse. GP’s in the main seem to be unable to diagnose mental health issues through lack of expertise and lack of available time. If you think I am being harsh towards GP’s then just think about this for a little bit…. I had my mental breakdown in June 2013 and I saw my first psychiatrist at the end of November 2013 and I still don’t have a diagnoses.

One in five mothers suffers from depression, anxiety or in some cases psychosis during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. Suicide is the second leading cause of maternal death, after cardiovascular disease. Mental health problems not only affect the health of mothers but can also have long-standing effects on children’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Costs of perinatal mental ill health are estimated at £8.1 billion for each annual birth cohort, or almost £10,000 per birth. Yet fewer than 15 per cent of localities provide effective specialist community perinatal services for women with severe or complex conditions, and more than 40 per cent provide no service at all.

£8.1 billion is almost 24% of the £34 billion mental health spend in a year quoted in this report and pay attention to the £10,000 per birth I’m about to breakout some maths. Oh by the way fewer than 15% of localities provide effective specialist community perinatal services is an absolute disgrace.

Here’s the maths….

NHS budget £116 Billion working with the 1 in 4 figure £29 Billion
U.K. Population £65 Million again working with the 1 in 4 figure 16.25 million

£29 billion divided by 16.25 million = £1784.61 per person effected by mental illness per year.

Added to the £10k figure above a documentary I watched about mental health based in some London boroughs when they were looking for psychiatric beds they were having to use private beds in some cases at a quoted cost of £1000 per night. Even this basic little bit of maths shows that current funding figures are massively insufficient….

In addition, people with long term physical illnesses suffer more complications if they also develop mental health problems, increasing the cost of care by an average of 45 per cent. Yet much of the time this goes unaddressed. There is good evidence that dedicated mental health provision as part of an integrated service can substantially reduce these poor outcomes. For example, in the case of Type 2 diabetes, £1.8 billion of additional costs can be attributed to poor mental health. Yet fewer than 15 per cent of people with diabetes have access to psychological support. Pilot schemes show providing such support improves health and cuts costs by 25 per cent.

I was at a CCG meeting last week and I found myself a little disgusted with myself as the last 2 meetings I had been to I had berated them (partly cus they deserve and partly cus I enjoy it) on one of the slides they had what they termed as their onion of care. I’m not that interested at the moment in the outer layers of the onion, what I am interested in is right at the core of the onion was the patient. Now apart from it being a little shocking that the NHS hasn’t realised the importance of the patient previously this is actually a very important part of us moving forward. As we work to parity of esteem for mental illness I think we should be looking at the “wellbeing” of the person looking at the person on a bespoke basis and forget about putting people into mental health and physical boxes, apart from anything else if depression is down to a chemical imbalance surely this chemical imbalance can be thought of as a physical issue. If a chemical imbalance is also at the root of anxiety then the symptoms and the outcome of anxiety also shows in a physical way. Obviously I’m not a medical professional and what I’ve just said may well be seen as idiotic, but sit and think about that for a minute…. Unless I’m very much mistaken the head and the brain have a very physical presence, usually just above the shoulders…. I few months ago I met up with a guy I’ve known since I very first started school, he’d been to university and become a Physiotherapist, after a period of time he started to notice that the appointments his patience were attending were sometimes the most important part of there week, fortnight, month and in receiving the physical therapy it also helped there mental state, maybe from just having contact with another person, maybe through the fact that the pain may be a little less for a period of time so they could concentrate on something else rather than the pain and the things they couldn’t do. The physical therapy of physiotherapy had a positive physical and positive mental effect. Almost as if the head and brain were attached to the rest of the body considered physical…. Crazy eh????). Here’s a link to Stuart’s website Lanes4Change 

£34 BILLION EACH YEAR SPENT ON MENTAL HEALTH

Poor mental health carries an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year in England. Analysis commissioned by NHS England found that the national cost of dedicated mental health support and services across government departments in England totals £34 billion each year, excluding dementia and substance use.
£19 billion of this is made up of government spend, though there is little or no national data available for how up to 67 per cent of mental health funding is used at a local level. Most of the remainder (£14bn) is for the support provided by unpaid carers, plus a relatively small share that is funded through the private and voluntary sectors.

I’ve already done some dodgy maths so I’m going to look at this from a different angle….

Let’s look at this sentence first “Most of the remainder (£14bn) is for the support provided by unpaid carers)” those that are used to me by now will know exactly what I’m going to say here…. If they are unpaid carers how the flip can this total £14 billion???? UNPAID!!!!

2nd let’s look at this sentence “plus a relatively small share that is funded through the private and voluntary sectors.” VOLUNTARY!!!!

I can hardly believe this sentence was considered suitable to be in such a report “£19 billion of this is made up of government spend, though there is little or no national data available for how up to 67 per cent of mental health funding is used at a local level.” LITTLE OR NO DATA AVAILABLE FOR HOW UP TO 67% OF MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING IS USED AT A LOCAL LEVEL!!!! WTF!!!! I don’t think I need to add anything!!!!

Given chronic underinvestment in mental health care across the NHS in recent years, efficiencies made through achieving better value for money should be re-invested to meet the significant unmet mental health needs of people of all ages across England, and to improve their experiences and outcomes.

Following on from above if you have little or no data on how up to 67% is used at a local level how the fudge are you going to achieve and quantify better value for money AND if you don’t know how 67% is being used how do you identify the significant unmet mental health needs????

Our ambition is to deliver rapid improvements in outcomes by 2020//21 through ensuring that 1 million more people with mental health problems are accessing high quality care. In the context of a challenging Spending Review, we have identified the need to invest an additional £1 billion in 2020/21, which will generate significant savings. It builds on the £280 million investment each year already committed to drive improvements in children and young people’s mental health, and perinatal care.

This will be brief….

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I’m not sure “rapid” is the correct word, it’s 2016, 2020 is erm, NOT rapid!!!!

Over the next five years additional funding should allow NHS England to expand access to effective interventions. The priority areas we have identified would require an additional £1 billion investment in 2020/21, which will contribute to plugging critical gaps in the care the NHS is currently unable to provide. Our expectation is that savings and efficiencies generated by improved mental health care e.g. through a strengthened approach to prevention and early intervention, and through new models of care, will be re-invested in mental health services.

This paragraph highlights the ambiguities of this £1 billion, what additional funding over the next 5 years???? They keep talking about this extra £1 billion but if you look at the actual words they use it will be invested in 2020, I see no mention of additional funding over the next 5 years in fact cuts are still happening.

To deliver these commitments and realise the associated savings NHS England must be able to target investment and ensure there is sufficient transparency and accountability for putting them into action. Both the current Mandate priorities and those set out in this report should specifically be reflected in the local Sustainability and Transformation plans that areas will need to produce by June 2016, in how those plans are assessed and in the processes for allocating and assuring funds.

How much is it going to cost to “ensure there is sufficient transparency and accountability” when earlier on it was stated that “£19 billion of this is made up of government spend, though there is little or no national data available for how up to 67 per cent of mental health funding is used at a local level.”

We recommend eight principles to underpin reform:

Decisions must be locally led

Thus, taking no responsibility at a central level and if decisions are all made locally then boroughs next to each other and further afield will be duplicating work, wasting money rather than learning from best practice.

Care must be based on the best available evidence

Having already stated they don’t have evidence for 67% of the money they spend just what evidence is the care plan being based on. My guess is this suggests they should be listening to the people they haven’t been listening to for many years…. Those who are asking for help….

Services must be designed in partnership with people who have mental health problems and with carers

Whilst I couldn’t agree with this more, from experience the establishment has come to the conclusion that services shouldn’t be designed top down they should be from bottom up by consulting with service users and that’s a great step forward. However again from experience there’s not a huge percentage of service users who have the strength to engage with the powers that be, partly through the illnesses they have and if they have tried to engage in the past nothing has changed, we as a body of people generally have no trust whatsoever in the people we are asked to engage with. Personally having actually got involved with various groups I have a different view point and I can see that there’s an awful lot of people in positions of influence that want to make changes. But in order to build these services from the bottom up there has to be some investment and although people keep saying to me there is money available it just isn’t forthcoming. I’m not talking about access to thousands and thousands of pounds, let me give you a very small but important example. What people want and need is regular access to help and support, whatever happens that regular help and support can’t be available on every street so in order to access the regular help and support they have to travel. If they drive then you could assume this is fairly straight forward, I’m not even going to put petrol into the equation, let’s just look at Parking, some places aren’t to expensive but a place quite local to me it can easily cost £2.50 to park for a couple of hours. £2.50 is not a huge amount of money but say you were to access this regular help and support 3 times a week parking alone is going to cost you £7.50, if we look at ESA which is £250 per fortnight then £15 equates to 6% of income, again doesn’t sound a lot but if you were to earn £18k a year 6% of this is £1080. If you don’t drive and have to get the bus, which a lot of people simply can’t do due to anxiety, a day saver ticket costs £4.40 per day so let’s times this by 3 = £13.20 X 2 = £26.40 which is almost 11% of the ESA £250 per fortnight, again equated to a salary of £18k = £1980….

Inequalities must be reduced to ensure all needs are met, across all ages. Care must be integrated – spanning people’s physical, mental and social needs

Again brief…. No ship Sherlock!!!!
(And yes you may spot a little boredom and frustration creeping in again)

Prevention and early intervention must be prioritised

Couldn’t agree more, but surely this doesn’t take until 2016 to work out when the NHS has been around since 1948. Also because such a massive amount is spent on acute care (53% in Dudley) there isn’t any cash to invest in prevention and early intervention, back in March 2015 the government announced £1.25 billion to be invested in children’s mental health and only this morning (8th March 2015) on BBC news it was said that this money isn’t actually reaching the front lines because of the many levels of bureaucracy it is having to go through. I don’t believe it’s all about cash, but some has to be available to ensure some new thinking and new approaches can be put in place.

Care must be safe, effective and personal, and delivered in the least restrictive setting

Sorry but I think you know what’s coming…. No ship Sherlock!!!!

The right data must be collected and used to drive and evaluate progress

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!! I will draw your attention to previous info….

“£19 billion of this is made up of government spend, though there is little or no national data available for how up to 67 per cent of mental health funding is used at a local level.”

Couple of questions…. Exactly how are we to evaluate progress? Against what scale? What data will they publish? Will they continue to hide the data they don’t want people to see? Will they do the right thing and find the ability to be honest?

On employment, the Department of Work and Pensions forecasts that it will spend £2.8 billion in total payments to contractors to help people into work under the Work Programme between June 2011 and March 2020. Yet fewer than one in 10 people with mental health problems have gained employment through the Work Programme. We know psychological therapies and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services have proved highly effective – with around 30 per cent moving into jobs through IPS – but these are not being commissioned at scale. The Taskforce also welcomes the introduction of a Joint Unit for Work and Health, which is already piloting new approaches and recently secured significant new investment for an innovation fund.

The problem here for me is that because the help doesn’t come quickly enough (I had my mental breakdown in June 2013 and first saw a psychiatrist at the end of November, 6 months to see a psychiatrist, I know this is a relatively short period of time to see a psychiatrist) it causes people to get further into a world were they are institutionalised by their own surroundings and mental illness. The pressure that is put on people with mental illness to get back into work causes a lot of pain and anxiety, the language that is used by politicians and media makes those with long term mental illness feel useless, worthless and not part of normal society. On a personal level, I do quite a few things including the group for men, seeing individuals, meetings with different organisations, I sometimes worry that people will think if I can do all these different things surely I could go back to work and stop being a drain on society but I know and my psychiatrist agrees work, even part time, is still a long way off for me and the chances of getting back to a level I was previously at is non existent, not getting back to that level will destroy me as it will prove the demons right, that I am a loser, useless and a waste of a human being….

We expect rapid progress in the transformation of services for children and young people following investment of £1.4 billion over five years announced by the Government in 2014/15 (including additional money for eating disorders in children and young people). Plans are ready and these will be the first major programmes set out in this strategy to be delivered.

As mentioned above, only this morning on BBC news, “back in March 2015 the government announced £1.25 billion to be invested in children’s mental health and only this morning (8th March 2015) on BBC news it was said that this money isn’t actually reaching the front lines because if the levels of bureaucracy it is having to go through.”

And Rapid????

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Mental health problems account for a quarter of all ill health in the UK. Despite important new developments in mental health research it receives less than 5.5 per cent of all health research funding. Latest figures suggest that £115 million is spent on mental health research each year compared with £970 million on physical health research.

This is a difficult one, 5.5% is a disgrace and £115 million compared with £970 million is pathetic but we have to remember how many physical illnesses there are. This sort of proves the saying “statistics can prove anything” it depends on what angle you are looking from and the point you are trying to make. Having played devils advocate a little bit on this one the first sentence is extremely powerful “Mental health problems account for a quarter of all ill health in the UK.” A QUARTER!!!!

We know that the scale of unmet mental health need is significant – hundreds of thousands of people go untreated each year at a cost of billions of pounds to our society and the economy. This investment would, however, make a start in plugging that gap, building on £1.4 billion of new funding over five years for children and young people’s and perinatal mental health last year, including additional funding for eating disorders.

A very powerful paragraph to end with very similar to the recent BBC News headlines on the 16th February….

BBC News at One first 2 sentences
“Biggest ever review of NHS Mental Health Services in England has found that MOST patients are being failed”
“Ministers accept there’s a problem & have pledged an extra billion pounds a year on improving psychiatric services”

BBC News at Six first 2 sentences
“The mental health failures in England that have led to thousands of deaths”
“A new report says 3 out of 4 people with mental illness get no help at all, government under pressure to take action”

An absolute disgrace!!!!

Where’s the evidence of how this £1.4 billion, announced as £1.25 billion in March 2015, is getting through to the front line.

I wanted to finish this post with some intelligent words to sum it all up, but I can’t think of anything suitable so I’m just going to leave it there.

“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound
@exboozehound
www.exboozehound.co.uk

Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)

 



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