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mental health: what do you think?

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    I think that mental health professionals, teachers etc. should try their best to raise awareness of mental health problems so that people are more likely to be open and receive help more quickly rather than people not being able to seek help because of the stigma.

    Also, in Wales and Scotland, all schools must have a counsellor available and I think this should be the same for schools in England to allow people better access to the support that they need.

    I understand that the mental health services within the NHS are (in general) poor and I think the government should provide more money for this because mental health problems affect so many people on a daily basis.

    I think it should be easier for people to access treatments and different therapies-many people are put on really long waiting lists and some people are not offered appropriate treatment because their mh problems are not seen as severe enough-personally I feel that it would help a lot more people offering therapy etc. to more people with 'mild' problems which can prevent e.g. low mood developing into depression, disordered eating developing into eating disorders rather than denying people treatment. I feel that it is better to prevent and treat 'mild' problems rather than potentially admitting someone to hospital etc. when the problem may have potentially been treated earlier.

    A lot of uk schools do offer counselling but it's not yet mandatory. Hopefully it will give you hope to know that there is currently a large scale study into schools based counselling that will line the foundation for the mandatory school counselling programme that is being discussed in parliament.

    I really hope that legislation comes to fruitation because it's so desperately needed and I hope that alongside of it they bring in regulation of the counselling profession

    I personally do not think that increased funding or increased services or reduces waiting lists will solve all the problems. The system is still flawed due to the discrimination, power imbalance and reduced desire to implement real social change.

    Power imbalance between professionals and service users needs to be addressed through a change of attitude in staff and also a change in the way services are designed - moving away from them being designed by managers with possibly some service user input towards real co production. Working side by side to produce services together as equals.

    Also we need to look at the issues that stop people seeking help - certain ethnic groups are highly misrepresented. We also have to look at why some groups are more represented in some areas than others eg why young black men are much more likely to come into contact with services via youth offending teams. Also why are they so much more likely to be diagnosed with psychotic illnesses and detained under the mental health act.

    Until we can address this and look at how we can be increasingly focuses on preventing discrimination being part of the system and how professionals can address social injustice, then I feel that increased access to services and funding will just bring more people into a flawed system. (Not saying that funding etc is not important, however I feel we need to explore these ideas too).
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