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Mental health being ignored despite government launching a strategy to tackle it

Date: (24 July 2012)    |    

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The charity Mind has said that the mental health strategy called ‘No Health Without Mental Health’ has so far failed to improve the position of the patients.
The strategy by Government launched more than a year ago has not been implemented by the NHS which was failing people with mental health problems the charity had warned.
It is being said that patients in some areas had to wait at least for three months for specialist counseling with some having to go to private due to need of more urgent care.
Others are developing more severe symptoms because doctors do not take warning signs seriously enough.
Chief executive of Mind Paul Farmer said that having a strategy was only the first step. Action was what needed to make a real difference to people's lives.
Mental health charities will today join Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to launch what the Department of Health calls an "implementation framework" to improve care.
A clear guidance would be given to health and social services, local authorities and housing associations on what they should be doing to help patients. It will say that mental health is just as important as physical well-being.
One in four people will have a mental health problem in any given year.
But mental health services have long been seen as an easy cut to make when money was tight. Implementation of the Government strategy stopped while the NHS and social care was reorganized.
Mr Farmer said many people live well with a mental health problem, but far too many don't.
There were very high numbers of people out of work because of their mental health and people were not able to take part as equal citizens in the society because of the stigma and discrimination attached to it.
Laura Sherlock has battled with mental illness since she was involved in a car accident in her teens. Her depression became so bad she began to self-harm and had suicidal thoughts.
But her GP told her she was just thinking her way into problems and refused to refer her to a psychiatrist. Only when she developed schizophrenia did she get the help she needed.
She said if only the support had been there initially, she would not have needed it now because she would not have got so seriously ill, she told Sky News.
She added that she could have died several times because of what was going on in her head and that she was lucky that love of her family had saved her from that happening.