Young peo­ple’s men­tal health I was sui­ci­dal and learnt you just have to talk to some­one

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

As most of you will be aware, the Bri­tish Red Cross has de­clared the NHS as be­ing in a “hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis”. Now whether that ex­act word­ing really hits the nail on the head is nei­ther here nor there, but what is un­de­ni­able is that the NHS is strug­gling like never be­fore.

This strug­gle is epit­o­mised by its deal­ing with men­tal health is­sues – specif­i­cally with re­gards to suf­fer­ers un­der 30, the age bracket af­fected by 75% of di­ag­noses.

I’m go­ing talk about my ex­pe­ri­ences, but this isn’t really about me, it’s merely high­light­ing the prob­lems faced up and down the coun­try.

Ev­ery year, al­most 7,000 peo­ple com­mit sui­cide in the UK – a num­ber that is on the up.

While rea­sons for sui­cide are vast and wide, a key fac­tor in the ma­jor­ity of cases is that of an un­der­ly­ing men­tal health is­sue; an area which, de­spite gov­ern­ment pledges, sees its fund­ing cut year-on-year.

The is­sue so­ci­ety is fac­ing, in gen­eral, is that of­ten peo­ple don’t know how to broach the topic of men­tal health and, in­creas­ingly, those af­fected also don’t know how to go about get­ting help.

About 16 months ago, my GP re­ferred to me to the Child and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health Ser­vices (CAMHS), yet it was 13 months un­til I re­ceived an ac­tual ap­point­ment.

Dur­ing that time, I tried to take my own life twice, but I didn’t tell any­one about it for a long time.

I think the pri­mary rea­son for not say­ing any­thing was that I didn’t really want to cause a fuss but also, it’s hard to drop it into a con­ver­sa­tion.

The thing about con­di­tions like these is that, de­spite the fact that any­one can be af­fected by them, there is a very real stereo­type sur­round­ing how they should act and what they should look like.

You know, dresses in black, has a funny fringe and lis­tens to bands like Weezer (I had to Google them).

But that’s sim­ply not the case. Take me, for ex­am­ple. If you asked peo­ple to de­scribe me, I sus­pect de­pressed would be pretty low on their list.

Bub­bly? Like a can of Coke. Funny? Depends who you ask. Loves Lit­tle Mix? Ab­so­lutely. Won’t stop talk­ing? In­cluded on my school re­ports more times than you could imag­ine.

Like I said ear­lier, the is­sue is not helped by the fact that over half of NHS trusts are hav­ing their men­tal health bud­gets slashed, de­spite claims of in­creased in­vest­ment.

Around a quar­ter of us will suf­fer from a men­tal health con­di­tion in our lives – whether it’s for

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.