How do you solve a problem like mental health?! | Rebecca Jane

I have worked in mental health for three years now, and what can I say about it? Statistics have risen, which won’t be surprising to anyone after the past year.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Rebecca Jane is head of Group Operations at the PH7 Group

In lockdown one, anxiety rose a little, but essentially the world seemed to mentally cope pretty well.

For those who weren’t hit by the physical effects of Covid, the weather was good and there seemed to be a holiday feel about the place.

Lockdown two was a little different. Stress levels started rising, more people had to work through it and there was an underlying knowledge of ‘this may not all be over as quick as we thought’.

Lockdown three was nothing short of horrendous. In three years, I had personally dealt with three people that were suicidal, but from December 2020 until now I deal with between three and 10 people a week who are in immediate danger of ending their life.

The question is, what the heck do we do?! I sit at my desk, day in and day out, analysing figures, trying to come up with new schemes, pilots and ideas to bring the statistics down and actually combat mental illness.

So, let me tell you my idea! Feel free to write in, or contact me if you have thoughts on my plan...

We solve mental illness by giving power back to the people!

The typical route for therapy is either ‘medication, counselling or CBT’. They are great services, I’m sure most will agree. There is however more than one way to skin a cat, and for me, this ‘one size fits all’ approach just doesn’t quite cut it.

Up to 75% of the 112 million people affected by mental illness may not get the treatment they need in the UK.

Meaning that mental illness can cost up to £3,750 per person, per year, for the 28 million people that actually receive treatment from the 105 billion pound bill on the NHS each year.

I am someone that has been ‘mentally unwell’ and received treatment for 15 years of my life. Meaning my total bill to the NHS could stand around £56,000.

If you had given me a small percentage of that budget and told me to ‘fix my mental health’, I would have done it far better than the treatment I have had over the years.

Even if you gave people a fraction of that cost. Say £1,000 that was regulated and they worked with a treatment provider to assess what would make THEIR mental health better... I guarantee results would be good!

THERE ARE A MULTITUDE OF WAYS TO FIX MENTAL HEALTH:

Gym memberships, nutrition education, singing clubs, exercise, one to one therapy, group therapy, self help, CBT, reading, education, quitting smoking, life style overhaul, business planning even, recruitment advice, financial advice... and the biggest thing that helped me? Understanding my mind. Education around how I work, my past experiences and how I can use them to be better in future.

Allow people to say what will help them. Overhaul a life – don’t just tell people to talk about their problems and hope it all is miraculously fixed. That is one piece, a very big piece in an almighty sized puzzle.