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Should the NHS provide better mental health treatment options for depression?

It's World Mental Health Day - a global campaign that aims to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world.

This year the campaign is focused around depression and its impact on the workplace – people are being encouraged to create workplaces that encourage good mental health and provide support for those struggling with depression.

There’s never been a more important moment to talk about mental health; this year the World Health Organisation revealed depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

Mental health problems have always been a challenge because they can’t be seen – unlike a broken bone that appears clearly in an x-ray, treatment for mental health is complex and multi-faceted. There’s no one solution and it often involves a combination of ongoing therapy, lifestyle changes, medication and more.

We’re lucky that in the UK, mental health services are free to access with the NHS. But the system is overloaded and struggling to cope with the demand and financial impact of people increasingly needing access to these services. Referrals can take months and the most serious issues are prioritised by necessity.

To pick up the slack, people are going private where possible, workplaces are trying to help, and mental health charities are stepping into the fray to help more people understand and cope with mental health issues.

Many have called to direct more resources towards mental health so more people have access to counselling, arguing better mental health would save money in the long haul because people would be happier and healthier not just mentally, but physically too.

Today at Speakers Corner we’re asking: should the NHS provide better or more comprehensive health treatment options? Should these be prioritised over treatments for other diseases like dementia and cancer? Share your thoughts with us below. 

Should the NHS provide better mental health treatment options for depression?

105 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Valerieking
14 hours ago
0
Thanks for voting!
I do feel that the NHS is being over burdened with all our modern day illnesses, perhaps it is time to go back to basics and look at what is provided for free and the people that receive it. Mental health is a terrible illness and should be helped in every way possible but so are many other forms of illness which do we priorities?
Lionel
11th Oct 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Just to add a note of caution in this subject: Recently we visited a friend of my step daughter. While there a gawky teenaged boy stormed into the room, and was menacingly provocative towards us. His mother just dismissed his outrageous behaviour as, 'he's ADHD!'

I'm convinced more money must be found for the NHS to better provide for mental illness patients. However society must not make them life time victims by way of handing out diagnoses or bits of paper which effectively legitimise their condition and therefore behaviour. Surely the object of treatment is ultimate sustained freedom from mental illness.

But, as the Welfare State is abused by a vocal minority with their 'rights,' so also can a mental illness diagnosis can be flaunted as a passport out of responsibilities and into rights to which some people are not genuinely entitled by way of their illness. Sustained relief from their illness may not be a convenient or comfortable goal for them to achieve.

Please understand here, I write about a small but very disruptive minority. I am not making a blanket statement about everyone.
Lionel
10th Oct 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
Mental illness is the least definable of conditions because it has so many permutations. Mental illness brings with it a Victorian stigma, a kind of pack reaction - her behaviour doesn't fit in so we'll shun her. The illness is thus compounded. I have a sick Collie at the moment and the other two shun him and one, hoping to be the next top dog, tries circling him looking for a kill.

My first wife fell mentally ill within three months of us marrying. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed Valium 10 on an open prescription, meaning she could have as many as she wanted. Over the next 21 years there was no realistic help from anywhere. It was depression that ended the marriage when she profoundly rejected the one she loved and leaned on one who wanted a different kind of love from her. I didn't ever tell him she had attempted suicide three times and I'd pulled her back. Good luck mate!

So, like the brave commenters below who have opened a window on their experience, I don't blame the NHS at all! It's been under staffed and under funded for fifty years. It is a political football and so many of us tax payers are unwilling to shell out a little more each month to restore health to the NHS.

If we want improved services and treatments then we must be prepared to pay for them. I would willingly pay more.

Late Saturday night one of my dogs had a stroke. A visit to the vet after midnight cost £300. My wife and I paid willingly. So it must be with our beloved NHS. Relating that bill to the NHS, £300 a year is £6 a week. Tonight I'd happily pay that out of my pensions to improve the Service for us, my step children and step grand children. If everyone paid an extra £6 a week for for NHS that's another £15 billion. Gotta make a difference!
scandiman
10th Oct 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
I was diagnosed with clinical depression as a result of counselling, which I paid for, every week for nearly a year. My employer, a police authority did nothing to help me. If I had a physical injury that could be seen, that would have been different. I was offered no more than six sessions on NHS,which was not enough. I decided that the only way to get better was to help myself by paying for private counselling. There is an epidemic of depressive illness in UK. I know this from the evidence of a relative who works in this field. His work suffers from the influence of accountants, the regular and crippling funding cuts and an NHS which can’t cope. If you’re depressed you are alone, unless like me you have a supportive family and can afford to pay for help.
tigreisis
10th Oct 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
It is not the NHS at fault here it was the Government closing all of the Mental Health Hospitals and placing the I'll into the community with the prospect of full care in the community. They forgot that a lot of the I'll had become instatutionalised and despite what they said about care in the community there just wasn't enough people, staff, nurses, to care and some of the I'll were ignored.
The nurses who worked in the hospitals said it wouldn't work and they were right.
Yes I suppose the NHS is somewhat at fault however they only did what they were told to do.
I agree yes something must be done, bring back mental health hospitals.
jeanmark
13th Oct 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
In have to agree with you tigreisis, everyone predicted what the problem would be by closing so many beds in the mental health field, but it was all about 'community care' and better for patients to be in their own homes. The problem was there was inadequate community care and many of the long term sick didn't have homes to go to.

I don't really know what the answer is as I am not convinced there will ever be sufficient funds for all ill health be that physical or mental health.

Peoples attitudes to mental health are slowly changing but, as with many physical illnesses that are hidden, there will always be people who have no insight into such issues and refuse to believe there is a problem.
tigreisis
6 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
That's so true Jeanmark,, the world over mental health issues have always had an underlying stigma that people don't want to know, however as you said the worl is changing and people are realising that mental health issues do affect everyone in one way or another, and better care must be found.
NorfolkBroad
10th Oct 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Before any changes take place we need to get back to the realities of clinical depression and just having a bad day or not liking our job any more. There is a vast difference between the two. Almost everyone has dark thoughts when his or her mood is bad. With actual depression, though, the thoughts can be extremely negative. They can also take over and distort your view of reality. Clinical depression is the mental health bit and is currently giving patients the option of 'this pill or that one'; no cognitive therapies and no looking at the bigger picture to the time when pills might no longer be needed. There is a lot of sense in the saying that 'the devil makes use of idle hands'! You can take the 'sanest' person and sit them in a room with nothing to do but think about themselves - how they feel and what they would like instead. Eventually that person will start to feel dissatisfied with their lot and will feel gloomy. That is not clinical depression. I have been there so am allowed to say that mental illness is one of the most selfish illnesses to have because your life revolves around 'me, and how does me feel?' The NHS has closed down the majority of special facilities for the mentally ill and admittance appears to be based around whether you are a threat to yourself or others? Too little to late. Treatment at an earlier stage - not automatically pills - would curb the numbers going further down the road of depression etc.
Lionel
11th Oct 2017
0
Thanks for voting!

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