30/11/2016 - Mental Health Cuts in the UK

mentalhealthcutsReceiving basic health facilities is the right of every individual. Mental Health is the psychological and emotional well-being of an individual. It’s often not as obvious or understood as a physical health problem and public attitudes, whilst improving, are sometimes lacking understanding and empathy. It is a bitter truth that when it comes to choosing between physical health and mental health, the latter lags behind. We all know that the sooner the problem is addressed, the better and brighter is the chance to treat it. Yet, the people, especially younger generations are being served a poor deal.

Recent health budget allotments are simply not enough to help the people with their medical and health needs, and budget cuts of mental health care in England, are worsening the situation. Despite successive government guarantees of funding physical health care, there have been reports by BBC that 40% of the 58 health care trusts faced budget cuts in 2015-2016. Mental health care has been neglected in receiving a share of these funds.

These budget cuts in the mental health services have played a major role in extinguishing young lives and families, just like Neil Jewell, a schizophrenia patient, who lost his life due to shortages in his care by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) who were looking after him but had strained resources. Reportedly, £80m has been cut from the National Health Services mental health budget for children and adolescents in the past four years, including £35m in the last year alone. Moreover, experts from Oxford and Liverpool universities have found that there have been an additional 590 suicide cases, 279,000 cases for mental illness and 725,000 more prescriptions for anti-depressants. Recent cuts have made the care facilities inadequate to address these cases.

Cuts in social services and mental health services has led the health care in our country to a state of chaos and turmoil. Concisely, the number of patients is higher than the number of beds, facilities and money to treat those in need.. This results in long waiting lines for health facilities and deteriorating medical conditions. Moreover, along with budget cuts, the medical staff is also, facing layoffs and not surprisingly about 5000 mental health nurses have been cut down.

The right help at the right time can do wonders for the people in receiving the quality of treatment that they deserve and addressing their problems immediately. When a failure to provide this is unacceptable for physical health patients, why should it be deemed acceptable for mental health patients?