Mental health service - what’s really going on and what needs to change

Mental health service - what’s really going on and what needs to change

4 July 2021
Signatures: 332Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Leeann Nash

Mental health services need to change before as many are lost post pandemic with mental health related issues as we have seen die of COVID 19. 

As a mother of an adult son who has struggled with his mental health since his first suicide attempt at 12, I am ready to shine a glaring spotlight on the true story about what happens when society doesn’t take care of those who desperately need it. 

Can you imagine calling the crisis hotline and doing your best to describe the terrifying, deep psychosis that is staring you down—and the person who answers tells you to remove the knives from the house, lock your bedroom door, and call the police if someone gets hurt? Can you imagine having been told your son would jump off a building, ringing the care co-ordinator who says the doctor can see him in 2 weeks. 
Can you imagine asking how deep the cuts need to be for your child to qualify to be hospitalised under the mental health act. 

Parents like me, can imagine all of this—and much worse—because we live it. And we blink hard because it doesn’t seem possible that this inhumane, nonsensical treatment of individuals with illness has become normalized in our modern society where we celebrate mental health awareness week or encourage others to #bekind. 

Perhaps the most frustrating in all of this nonsense is to be told by a member of the mental health care that a family member has “chosen” this path.

Of course our loved ones don’t choose to self-destruct. They want what most people want, a job, a home, friends and happiness but they say they don’t want help because they cannot perceive their own state of illness or properly assess the risk. A functioning cognitive brain is required to make a purposeful choice, and that isn’t available in a state of delusion or psychosis.

Our “system” has decided that there’s nothing to be done—until someone gets hurt or laws are broken. The brave souls who work in mental healthcare are left with the awkward task of explaining to families that their extremely ill loved ones really can’t get help until they break the law or are taken to the edge of death by suicide. 

Our current system demands an individual reach this level of mental decompensation again and again as in the case of my son, damaging a long-term prognosis. Like some kind of sick round about you can never get off.

The reality is resources are scarce and inadequate for the growing mental health epidemic. Acute mental health beds are full, Camhs has longer waiting lists than ever and local authorities are simply overwhelmed and under funded. 

The iniquitous system means that our children have to meet a narrow threshold of violence or extreme self harm to get help and even that isn’t a guarantee in pandemic Britain. 

Without help those who find themselves struggling often escape deeper into their mental health crisis, reinforcing the illness pathways in their neural networks and making the brain much more resistant to therapy. Time is lost by inaction, medication is overutilised as a “quicker fix” and people get sicker which ends up costing the NHS far more in the long term. 

Kind human connection is well-established as critical to healing yet our ill family members are isolated in cold environments that seem to be designed to teach them a lesson, not help them sort out their mental confusion about what is real and unreal, safe or unsafe.

The mental health system needs an urgent and complete reboot, the policies need to be shaped by the families that use it, the environment needs to be more conducive to wellness and the people in it need to be given the time to care, not so overwhelmed by their workload that they miss a chance to save those they look after. 

My son is currently under section but I want this time to be different, I want support to be there when he gets out, professionals to actually counsel him, medication to be frequently reviewed, and care workers to actually care. 

I want early interventions so that we do not have to beg doctors to section our children for fear they kills themselves or others.
I want CAMHS to be properly funded to clear the waiting lists and have proper time and support to guide children through these issues and into adulthood with a fighting chance of being well mentally. 
I want care for those over 18 to be as inclusive of the whole family as for those under 18 as often we have to beg for information about our adult children. 
Most of all I just don’t want Thomas to die.

It could be a member of your family one day so please help me force our government to review mental health service provision. The pandemic has increased the strain on the provision and this is only likely to accelerate further. 







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Signatures: 332Next Goal: 500
Support now