Increase funding for NHS Mental Health Services
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To the Parliament of the United Kingdom,
On Thursday 3rd of August 2017, Judge Sir James Munby, head of high court's family division publicly announced how ashamed and embarrassed he was that no NHS hospital bed could be found for a 17 year old who showed an acute risk of taking her own life. She was due to be released from a youth detention centre eleven days from the published report, and after weeks of doctors saying she needed to be placed in further care for her own protection the release was set to take place.
If it was not for Munby's judicial intervention, and a warning that the nation will have 'blood on it hands' if an NHS hospital bed could not be found for her care, there would not have been arranged provisions for the young girl. As he summarises, it demonstrates the 'disgraceful and utterly shaming lack of proper provision in this country of the clinical, residential and other support services'. What is truly sad is that there are so many more people like this poor 17 year old girl, that without a judicial intervention for each, proper care is impossible.
This boils down to one thing. The lack of funding, resources and number of staff able and trained to deal with a rise in youth mental health crises. I can speak from personal experience. NHS doctor waiting times are increasing, which means that those that need a referral from a GP to a local NHS mental health team have to wait whilst things get worse. Not only this, but the waiting list for psychiatric assessment and general counselling/CBT/psychotherapy services are huge. I am still on a waiting list, and I last saw my GP in June. That's two months.
The GP saw this, and explained this to me himself. He referred me to online services such as iTalk and the Samaritans, but these provisions are not the correct help for people such as the 17 year old in question. Proper help, counselling and therapy is needed which over the phone or internet services simply cannot provide. I have seen my friends and family denied similar help until drastic measures are taken. Seeing your friends and family have to get worse before they can get better is truly damning and heartbreaking to see.
So I plead for the parliament of the United Kingdom to discuss, during a parliamentary meeting, to increase funding for the NHS mental services. I urge this and echo Sir James Munby's words; otherwise this nation will have more blood on its hands.
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