wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe

Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic… and the rest!

Theresa May – action, not talk please.

To say that I have mixed emotions with regard to Theresa May’s very well publicised speech yesterday, is an understatement.

On the one hand, mental health received a shout out on TV. Amazing! The stigma and problems surrounding it were formally recognised. I also like the prospect that every secondary school will receive mental health first aid training, to help teachers identify symptoms and students who may be developing issues. If mental health conditions are spotted early enough, they can be stopped from advancing.

So yeah, the speech was off to a good start…

Yet, one thing in particular really pissed me off “there are not easy answers to these problems.” Really? Because I can find one in seconds… MONEY. THERE’S NO F**KING MONEY! Cameron’s government cut Children’s services by around £50 million last year and Mrs May cut the same budget by another £8 million. I’m by no means a financial expert, but surely this isn’t a good move if you’re looking to solve problems in such areas.

When in doubt, I tend to reach out to my mental health f**king master of everything mentor Natasha Devon, for a second opinion. In her latest column for TES she voiced all those niggling concerns that I was afraid to acknowledge, (I’m happy being in denial… at least for a few days). In light of the budget cuts to children’s services and yesterday’s speech, she says; “Ms May’s latest endeavour appears at best to be a diversionary technique and at worst an outrageous mistruth. Perhaps most disappointingly, however, it’s devastatingly unoriginal.”

Indeed, I remember Cameron promising similar things last year and we all know how that turned out.

If nothing changes, then once again the financial burden will fall primarily on charities.
When I was at my worst, the government failed me. There’s nothing quite so terrifying as needing help and being told that this is none… at least not for six to ten weeks. Can you imagine;

Patient: I have symptoms of skin cancer and I don’t want it to progress. What should I do doctor?
Doctor: There’s a huge waiting list and tbh we don’t really have the resources to help you. You might get appropriate care in four weeks, it might be ten. Who knows.
Patient: But if it is cancer, won’t it have developed by then?
Doctor: Probably.

I’m not blaming the doctors, it’s the system that’s flawed.

So I turned to Anxiety UK and received help immediately. Their helpline is invaluable and they even have a text and online chat service now. AUK found me a therapist, and for the first time I felt like someone actually gave a shit, outside of my immediate family. If this charity hadn’t been there to get me on the right track, then I really don’t know where I’d be now.
If you have a spare couple of quid this week and fancy making a difference, then why not give it to Anxiety UK. No fancy gimmicks and I’m afraid I can’t give you a sticker (come on now, we all like them), but I can attest that the money will go to the right places.

For now, I’m going to give Mrs May’s government a fair shot. In her speech she did highlight the problems and some possible solutions. I’m willing to support this and any genuine approach that the goverment makes.

The thing about the mental health community is, we’re like a pack. Supportive, relentless and we stick together. We cannot be placated by speeches and fancy PR campaigns. So this time I hope the government is willing to put it’s money where it’s mouth is.





Categories: Anxiety

6 replies

  1. Your skin cancer analogy says it all Claire. Only those who have been closely affected by mental health problems and sought help will understand just how poor the provision is and how desperate that makes you feel. Basically unless you are at immediate risk of suicide or rich enough to pay for help privately you will have to wait weeks for counselling or psychotherapy.

    It’s good that Theresa May has acknowledged the extent of the problem. MNy of us have been saying the same for a very long time. Now put your money where your mouth is please Mrs May!

  2. I completely agree with what you have posted and it’s completely true that mental health stigma is being reduced , but (from an entirely selfish perspective) it seems to me that all the media spotlight is focused on young people. What about the middle aged more portly and bald amongst us who are feeling hopeless and having suicidal thoughts? I’m about to come to the end of a 1 to 1 counselling run which took me around 6 months to be assessed and then wait for an appointment. 1 hour a week for 6 weeks. And someone thinks this will sort me?
    The whole thing is a joke and perhaps I’m being overly sensitive because of my condition but it seems to me that the view needs to be a lot more general than just “young people” although my heart goes out to them.

    • Not at all, you’re very much entitled to your opinion. I can emphasise 100% with your point about the majority of attention being directed at young people… because I missed the boat too there. Young people is a sensible place to start because there’s a greater chance of stopping the issues from developing.
      That said, I think EVERYONE with a mental condition deserves adequate help. There isn’t a cut off. Like many advocates I’ll keep fighting for everyone, (myself included) and hope that others will fight for me.

  3. I’ve often said to friends that we should have a mental health GP as well as a normal GP, so like there should be at least one in every surgery….as always, about the money!

  4. I am trying to be hopeful about this. But I don’t trust them! I think it’s great that she even spoke about it, but don’t see how anything can be done without a lot more money. This government seem so reluctant to actually do anything to help the NHS. Like the problems with A&E’s, saying that gps should be helping out more, where are these extra gps going to come from? Just actually help the A&E’s, don’t pass the buck onto another already stretched service!
    I’m so lucky with the help I have from my gp and mental health service, now I’m in the system. But I know many people’s experience is not like mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s