Category: Psychology

Mental Health Cuts Put Lives at Risk

One in four people suffer from mental health problems in their lifetime.  The UK government is calling for better mental health provision whilst cutting funding for the NHS. There are deep cuts happening in mental health services across the country. You probably haven’t heard this as it is being swept under the carpet. Finally, there is a flicker of hope as the BBC begins to publicise this dichotomy.

Mental health charities warn cuts ‘put lives at risk’.

The Mental Health Foundation, Rethink Mental Illness, Mind, the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network and the Centre for Mental Health and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have released a letter on Wednesday warning that planned cuts for next year will put lives at risk as the system is already underfunded.

At this point, people with mental illness are being failed, massively. The long term nature of mental illness means that this is a problem that will come home to roost for society in the future. Politics on the other hand is a short term activity and is only concerned with the immediate future and winning the next popularity contest.  Politicians like Cameron and Clegg will not be in government when the effects of these cuts become chronic.  They will be making after dinner speeches about their time in government whilst the human cost is finally counted. For them it will be “someone else’s problem”.  For those who lose their quality of life or a loved one there is a real cost.9884

In the current climate, there are some people for whom the human cost will always seem irrelevant.  This shouldn’t need saying but in recent years there is a need to spell it out: there is a serious economic consideration to creating a system in which thousands of people are left as “unproductive members of society”:

Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, said early intervention programmes were “very good value for money” and the prospect of budget cuts was “very worrying”.

“Early Intervention in Psychosis services are known to be highly effective in helping young people to negotiate their first episode of psychosis”, he said.

“They offer hope of a brighter future by helping young people to stay in education, to get and keep work, and to support their physical health.”

He described the cuts as a “false economy”.

“They save the NHS £9 and the wider economy another £9 for every £1 invested in them.”

Facilitating people back to “productive lives” makes economic sense for the country. Consigning people to a lifetime of mental illness makes no economic sense.

Please, please publish this far and wide.  This is a problem that the current government is creating for the future!

Living with Depression

If you are a regular follower of this blog you will have noticed that both myself and The Bassplayer are keen to promote work with people who suffer from mental illness.  As priest I often encounter mental illness.  The Bassplayer is a clinical psychologist so as you can imagine she sees the effects of mental illness daily.

Jo, a friend of ours has just published  a very honest Personal Letter to Depression.  An honest lament from a woman who lives with, loves and raises a family with someone who suffers from depression.  I will just give you the opening sentences.  Please do click the link and read more.

Dear Depression.
You are a selfish, self indulgent, self righteous, self pitying, insensitive, uncaring, unthinking arsehole. You sap the Joy out of an otherwise joyful kind and loving human being. You make him look upon his beautiful wife, and gorgeous children and see nothing….

Myers Briggs and The Bible


Last night @charityhamilton sent me this as a text message.  So @thebassplayeruk had a rant in her capacity as Resident Psychologist.  Then @unshaunsheep made this and the floodgates were opened.  “Pseudo science” may have been said.  “Why is the Church of England spending my money on this nonsense” may have been said.

It’s a hard life when your vicarage has a resident psychologist and your church likes to do Myers Briggs to everybody.

Apparently I’m Esther, a clever visionary.  I’ll take compliments wherever I can get them @thebassplayeruk 😛