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Mental Illnesses and the challenges faced

Fortunately, depression has become more and more seen as an illness, rather than simply as an exaggeration, a phase or a surge of hormones. According to the Adolescent Support Clinic, throughout our life, 1 in 10 of us will experience symptoms of depression. This means roughly 6,564,000 people in the UK suffer from symptoms. A number of these symptoms include loss of confidence, motivation and suicidal thoughts.

There are still many barriers in the UK which really prevent or challenge individuals suffering with mental illnesses in improving their situation and guiding young people struggling with mental health. Here is a list of barriers and challenges that people are fighting a daily battle with:

Pharmacies and their ‘privacy’ – individuals suffering from mental health are taking to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their concerns. The Twitter account ‘@Sectioned_’ described a situation where their patient confidentiality had not been respected, revealing the name of the prescribed drug in front of the waiting room.

What is being done to prevent this? – Sound-proof consultation rooms are being made to ensure conversations between patient and staff remain private. Using frosted glass to provide private access. Secondary location within the pharmacy for patients to fill out forms on their own in order to protect their privacy.

Misconception of finances while suffering from a mental illness – around 4 million people with poor mental illness will struggle financially. Symptoms such as a lack of motivation and confidence, extreme tiredness, and irritability will most certainly affect the ability of an individual to maintain a job and to stay on top of financial responsibilities. this issue has been addressed by the Mental Health and Money Advice Service website and telephone hotline service which offers support when financial struggles are being faced.

What is being done to prevent this? This issue has been addressed by the Mental Health and Money Advice Service website and telephone hotline service which offers support and advice when financial struggles are being faced.

Lack of research – people are fighting for mental illnesses to have the same funding as physical illnesses. This is in relation to the ongoing acceptance of mental illnesses actually being recognised as a real illness such as a broken leg. According to MQ Mental Health ‘per person affected, 22 times more money goes into researching cancer and ways of curing it compared to mental illness’.

What is being done to prevent this? Unfortunately, this situation has not currently improved. Groups fighting for this equal research for mental health are continuing to raise awareness.

There are other barriers and challenges of mental health which continue to hold back people struggling with mental illnesses, yet there are changes being made, issues being addressed and an awareness growing in order to make it easier for people suffering to get help, advice, in the best way possible.

The general tide seems to be turning, certainly in terms of physical illness, in that many people are happy to invest in their physical health and pay for private treatments where they can (for a quicker and more efficient service). Many people still feel that healthcare should be freely given and therefore many of us don’t take responsibility for our own mental health.

It’s about taking responsibility and investing in oneself – the truth is no-one else can do that for you. Even when we take medicine it’s our own bodies that do the work after all!