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Misunderstood and Inadequately Treated – Mental Health – What Next?

I recently completed a fantastic course with MHFA to become a qualified Mental Health First Aider. The course was incredibly eye opening & harrowing at many junctures.

Although the subject of mental health is more openly discussed & accepted, we are far from understanding its true impact. Mental health problems amount to 23% of ill Health & Disability cases in England but only 11% of the NHS budget is dedicated to Mental Health.

The waiting times for therapy can be as long as, 60 days in certain areas of the UK and naturally this is stopping people getting the help they desperately need.

1 in 6 adults seek mental health services in England – a number that has been rising steadily since the early 2000’s and has soared since the beginning of lockdown. Yet as many as 75% of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment whatsoever.

Last year more than 8 million people were prescribed anti – depressants in the UK – including myself. This stat makes me incredibly sad as I know first-hand what point you must reach to consider this route. If you were still not quite convinced of the mounting challenge, this figure has grown every single year since 2015.

The wait times and lack of dedicated budget from the NHS means people do not to get the support they want – coupled with the fact some people don’t want to go straight to their GP due to the fear factor mental illness will affect their careers. If this is you please seek help from mental health charities.

The cost to employers of poor mental health has increased dramatically, up to £56 billion in 2021 compared to £45 billion in 2019. With every statistic increasing year on year, we must take action & make a change. Of course, it is the right thing to do, but also it is financially credible. It is unjustifiable not to prioritise this issue anymore.

Mental health and unemployment run in a vicious cycle. Every year, people with mental health issues lose their jobs at twice the rate as those without, with an estimated 300,000 people losing employment annually. 72 million working days are lost every year due to mental health issues, the most pertinent of which are anxiety and depression.

If you are struggling or think someone you know is struggling, please contact the below for help as a first port of call – equally I am here to help – I want to turn my own difficult experience into a good thing and help people around me as much as I can.

I have seen a few posts on Linked In recently to contact 988 for emergency support – which is the case but only for PEOPLE IN THE USA. If you are in the UK – contact the below:

  • The Samaritans - 116 123

  • You can text "SHOUT" to 85258 for free - Mental Health Innovations

  • Papyrus (for people under 35) - 0800 068 41 41

  • Childline (for children and young people under 19) - 0800 1111

  • SOS Silence of Suicide - 0300 1020 505

I am not going to just stop here, and neither is the team at here at ECW. We have got some very exciting things planned for the New Year –I will be taking the lead on launching a Mental Health Podcast – with that in mind I would be keen to engage and talk with any Wellbeing Professionals on how you help your employees.

Watch this space and please branch out to me if you are interested in getting involved or have any advice!

There is no wealth without health if this is not top of mind for business right now then there is something wrong.

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