Topic

mental health

133 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Theresa May MP

Remove my mentally ill brother from the streets & provide him with the treatment he needs

My brother Patrick needs your help. He has been living on the streets of London for since February 2016, battling multiple mental illnesses with a debilitating drug addiction.  Patrick has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar and depersonalisation disorder by various doctors, and has spent the past 12 years self-medicating with alcohol and drugs to drown out the voices in his head and to numb intense, all-consuming feelings.  After years trying to seek help for my brother and with seemingly no other options left, I started this petition as a public plea to Islington Council and Police to step in. However - after lengthy discussion with services and charities, it has since been made clear that all services are limited with what they can do to help unless he is willing to engage, so I am now asking Prime Minister Theresa May to please address this serious situation and help provide a wider solution. Currently the only way that Patrick and most other mentally ill homeless people can access help — is if they decide they are ready to access help. No one in their ‘right mind’ would want to live as homeless drug addict, but Patrick is not in his right mind.  Patrick is at rock bottom as a result of years of failure to address his mental health issues. The once charming, popular and talented young musician has been reduced to a ghost of his former self.  The mental health laws are failing people like Patrick every day. Despite a history of police incidents, hospital admissions and suicide attempts since his teenage years and an extremely long list of unreported incidents, we are unable to move Patrick into full time care as the current laws appear to make this virtually impossible. Now at 29 years old Patrick is living alone on the streets unwilling to accept the help that is constantly being offered to him. But how can someone experiencing mental illnesses be expected to USE that broken mind to decide whether they need help or not? Something urgently needs to change. There has to be the option for us family, friends and indeed members of the public to say — “this person needs help” and for mental health professionals to step in to take them to a place of safety. We shouldn’t have to wait until some terrible incident before we can phone 999 to ask for help. The Mental Health Act needs updating fast — so that it’s easier for family to help someone in Patrick’s position. Currently, under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act**, an application for sectioning would need to be made by an Approved Mental Health Professional or nearest relative within 14 days of seeing Patrick. The application must then be approved by two doctors who have seen him within five days of each other. I’ve been told by charities and social services that sectioning would be almost impossible in Patrick’s case — it’s difficult enough to section someone who is present with a permanent address. And Section 4 requires an ‘emergency situation’ to appear — which is sadly what we’re reduced to waiting for.  We must look towards changing the laws in order to help cater for and support mentally ill, homeless and addicted people who aren’t able to make the right decisions for themselves. Someone needs to be able to step in to make these decisions for them — to take these people off the street and work through their mental/emotional issues with them, integrate them back into society — before it’s too late. Family MUST be given increased rights to help their loved ones - we are the ones who have known them all their lives and have seen them and helped them through all manner of situations. Even once a Mental Health Act assessment is achieved and undertaken, how can that 50 minute assessment with strangers be expected to accurately determine the treatment they require ongoing? After the mental health team at Westminster Court couldn't access my brother's GP records in time for his assessment they would not take into account the history I provided them with - they simply believed him when he denied having mental health issues.  There are hundreds of people on the streets like Patrick — and a many a lot worse than Patrick. Our health services need urgently reevaluating to cater for the mentally ill and those who have become homeless as a result of mental illness — to give them a chance in life that they will otherwise miss out on. I have been informed that due to the area that Patrick is sleeping in, there is no team who can visit Patrick to carry out a Mental Health Act assessment on the street. Patrick's only hope is to be picked up by the police on a 136 if he 'appears' to be mentally unwell and to be referred to services that way. Another flaw in the system. This is a public plea for PM Theresa May to please step in with a solution to the mental illness and addiction (dual diagnosis) epidemic among the homeless population. Please consider revising the Mental Health Act to allow families to help their loved ones more easily. And please help provide a solution to my brother's current situation and the wider issues affecting so many homeless mentally ill and drug/alcohol-dependent individuals. Early intervention is key and can pave the way for future generations, but how do we treat those who are already being failed by the laws and are going unnoticed on the streets? And indeed those being cared for at home with very little support? Read the comments on this petition and you will find a huge number of families experiencing the same problems as we are. Mental illness is the problem — addiction and homelessness are the symptoms. If you see Patrick on the streets - PLEASE don’t tell him you've seen him on the internet/a campaign/blog etc as he is already paranoid enough and don't tell him to contact me. If you see him - please let me know his whereabouts instead or call 999 in an emergency situation. It was a tough decision to make this public, but I believe the alternative was to simply allow him to die alone on the streets. So I suppose not really a tough decision at all.However - you could tell him you recognise him from his YouTube channel and are a fan of his songs. Right now Patrick's love of music and the ridiculous amount of talent going to waste could be the one thing that inspires him to seek and accept help. Thank you. Find out more about Patrick's story here

Abigail Balfe
94,384 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

Create a Mental Health Children's Premium for Schools

THE PROBLEM: 1 in every 10 children (that's 3 in every class!) has a mental health problem Suicide is the biggest cause of death for boys aged 5-19, and the second biggest for girls in the same age group Nearly a quarter of children referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) are being turned away. Waiting times can be as long as 6 months for a first appointment and 42 weeks for the start of treatment. According to the CentreForum Commission on Children and Young People’s Mental Health: ‘State of the Nation’ report:  "Mental health problems are linked to premature mortality and can also be life limiting. Young people with an emotional disorder are more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs than other children; more likely to have time off school and fall behind in their education; and are more likely to earn less money as adults or to experience unemployment. As well as the personal cost, the estimated long term cost to the economy of mental health problems is £105bn a year. Some of the risk factors for mental health problems are common occurrences in young people’s lives, such as long term physical illness, bereavement and parental separation or divorce. It is therefore essential to have provision for early support and intervention when such life events that are potential triggers occur, to prevent longer-term mental health issues from developing. Unfortunately, the provision for early intervention and support is simply not there, as the report shows. THE SOLUTION:  If the system isn't working, we need to change the system.  Much more money and effort needs to be put into prevention of mental illness, rather than hoping that limited funds and resources will be sufficient once it's already too late and a child's mental health has been compromised.  Schools can access 'Pupil Premium' and 'Sport Premium' funding.  We believe that ALL schools should have access to a new fund - 'MENTAL HEALTH CHILDREN'S PREMIUM' (#MHCPUK)- for preventative interventions to be available to ALL children.  Schools will then be able to spend the funds in whichever way they feel is best to support their children's mental health.  They may wish to provide their teachers with additional training, or to bring in external programme providers, or a combination of any possible measures.  The important thing is for an annual amount to be 'ringfenced' for this purpose so that every school can support every child with preventative mental health interventions that will enable children to thrive and flourish in all aspects of their lives.  Not only is this a moral obligation we have as a nation, but it makes economic sense, too (see 'the problem', above).  Please help make the MENTAL HEALTH CHILDREN'S PREMIUM a reality.  Sign the petition and share it. Spread the #MHCPUK hashtag and spread the message. Improve children's lives in the present and in their adult future.   ANOTHER WAY YOU CAN HELP: We want to find out the views of parents, educators and others with an interest in children's wellbeing.  Can you complete this very brief ANONYMOUS questionnaire, please?   

RWS | Resilience Wellbeing Success
222 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Jeremy Hunt

Make Pharmaceutical firms help users who want to stop taking anxiety & depression drugs

Pharmaceutical companies: Create tapering kits to help users who want to stop taking prescription drugs for anxiety and depression Psychoactive prescription drugs (such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications) are often very difficult to stop taking. Many people experience difficulties stopping or reducing their drugs even with the support of Doctors and Psychiatrists. Because stopping or reducing these drugs is so difficult, many people feel trapped into taking these tablets for many years, giving them side effects and costing the NHS money in providing unnecessary prescriptions. Many of these drugs cause a physical dependance and the best way to avoid any unpleasant symptoms is to reduce the dosage slowly over an extended period. As it is now, many people who want to stop have no option but to reduce to the lowest possible dosage then “jump off” which can be extremely challenging. Some users simply carry on taking a drug beyond the point at which it was effective and useful to avoid the challenge of stopping. Listen to the New podcast: On iTunes Let's Talk Withdrawal podcast Or via my website Let's Talk Withdrawal podcast What we want We want the Pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce “drug tapering kits” which provide the most commonly prescribed medications in decreasing doses over a period of time.  We need tapering kits to help the millions of users of psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs because: Many tablets are only available in increments that are so large that they are useless for gradual lowering (tapering) of the dose.  Liquid forms for some medications are available but tend to be hugely expensive and therefore the NHS will not provide them.  Pill cutting is, at best, a hit and miss affair and can lead to withdrawal. Many doctors and psychiatrists confuse the symptoms of withdrawal with a return of the symptoms that the tablet was originally prescribed for. These kits would save a significant amount of time for General Practitioners, Psychiatrists and Community Mental Health teams. These kits would help users of psychiatric medications stop taking them safely and in a controlled fashion, giving them control over their drug intake. The pharmaceutical companies are already set up to manufacture massive quantities of these drugs, therefore it cannot be a huge additional cost to manufacture tablets of decreasing dosages. At most this is likely to be a tiny fraction of a percentage of profit but would win a huge amount of public confidence that the Pharmaceutical firms have their customers safety at heart. 

James Moore
1,817 supporters