This week’s mental health news features stories on a Labour MP who reveals that a suicidal 10-year-old was denied mental health help four times and a musician who collects donations for mental health charity Mind at his concerts.
Labour Mp reveals that a 10-year-old suicidal child who was denied mental health treatment four times because he hadn’t attempted suicide he didn’t meet their criteria for help.Care Quality Commission inspector Dr Paul Lelliot, giving evidence to the cross-party committee on child and adult mental health service provision, said many services were forced to come up with their own thresholds for treatment as they do not have adequate resources.
He said many units miss both their own applied targets for waiting times, as well as the NHS statutory 18-week target.
“What we hear from them is that it’s very often staffing levels that they take to be an issue,” he added.
“We also find them managing very long waits by raising the threshold for taking young people on. They will apply criteria and turn away referrals that don’t meet it.
Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, told the committee she had experienced families “pouring through the door” to talk about mental health since taking on the role nearly three years ago.
She added that she was “shocked” when teenagers as young as 13 told her they knew they would have to attempt suicide before they received any help.
Barbara Keeley, Labour’s shadow minister for mental health, said the situation was a result of government cuts to mental health services.“The scandal of children being turned away from mental health treatment because they don’t meet thresholds of mental ill health is a direct cause of the Tory government’s failure to protect mental health budgets,” she told Huffington Post UK.
Adult mental health isn’t much better either. I contacted my GP about going back on the mental health team after being released without a diagnosis late last year. I attended an appointment back in May this year and saw a mental health assessor and a student. I was told that I would hear back within a week either way only to attend an appointment with my GP last month who told me that the mental health lady I saw was leaving and that my notes had gone missing. I’m still waiting now to see if they are going to give me a proper diagnosis and any more help.
George Ezra collects money for mental health charity“Mind” at his concerts
Musician George Ezra told NME that he is no exemption from mental health and that he has started raising money for the charity “Mind” at his concerts. After addressing his personal battles with anxiety on recent single ‘Don’t Matter Now‘, the singer-songwriter will be playing a special London charity show at London’s Union Chapel next month in aid of the charity the mental health charity MIND.
He also revealed that when he went on tour earlier this year, he decided to test run collecting for the charity at his shows. The donations made by fans blew him away. They managed to raise over two grand in two weeks!
He said: “Since then I’ve been plotting different ways to help the charity, and the upcoming show felt like the perfect way to end the year with MIND. I will, of course, continue to collect at shows too.”
A budget for mental health
The final budget of the year is about to be announced but is it really a budget for mental health? At the beginning of year, the government showed promise when they made some much-needed commitments to boost mental health service spending and support.
To deliver the NHS’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, published last year, the Government pledged that an extra £1 billion will be spent on mental health services by 2020/21. And second, it has pledged to spend £1.4 billion spread over five years (2015-2020) to improve children and young people’s mental health services.
A Budget for better mental health would make sure that schools had the right help and support to build children’s emotional health and wellbeing – from training teachers to be more confident talking about mental health to providing counselling and other support services when students (or staff) need them.
It would ensure people with mental health difficulties who are unable to work and have to claim benefits had enough money coming in to live. And it would invest urgently in mental health support throughout the criminal justice system, including prisons and probation.
The Looneychick Vlog has finally launched
The Looneychick has finally plucked up the courage to vlog after kick-starting the YouTube channel at the beginning of November. We hope that this channel will educate and inform people about mental health matters by giving you a glimpse of what it’s like to live with mental health. We also hope that it will end the stigma and encourage people to see the person and not the illness, no matter how tough and frightening the illness gets.
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