A chance to seek alternatives

By | News & Politics
Norman Lamb at nursing counts campaign credit@ Royal College of Nursing via flickr.com

Earlier this year, the government made a great leap in recognition of mental healthcare. A promise was to prioritise the correct functioning of mental health services in order to give the conditions equality with physical conditions. This marked a productive change and may have provided those affected with the aim that the healthcare system might give the support and services required. The coverage of this and its implementation may have marked an important step for mental health; it may have acted as a call for further understanding of mental health challenges in our society.

This showed a productive alteration in the ideas for mental healthcare for the UK, however some officials are challenged by the slow progress of its implementation. It has been pointed out that the NHS is spending a maximum of 10% on mental healthcare across England, meaning that some of those challenged by the conditions are far from receiving the care they need. Recognising this allows those in power to take action and look at ways for improvement.

The study was conducted by the Shadow Minister for Public Health, her findings, along with the campaigns from mental health charities and media coverage, may encourage the government to reflect on their promises and complete the changes outlined. This will, provide citizens with more accessible and effective mental healthcare.

The coalition government’s website acknowledges that the main reason for disability in the UK is mental health conditions. Therefore recognising the need for an adequately funded mental healthcare system, which is a productive starting point for permanent improvement. Norman Lamb the UK Care Minister is challenged by the reports and has been quick to express a number of ways in which he aims to improve the services.

He stated that when, earlier this year, maximum waiting times for NHS treatment was implemented, mental health services were far from included. However, he states this will change next April when mental healthcare will see the same restrictions on waiting time as physical condition appointments meaning that patients will have minimal waiting times, and are additionally respected in the same was as those with physical conditions. He revealed that the government was working towards creating payment systems for patients to give them access to care through an individually assessed, agreed payment plan. He has also promised to introduce waiting list targets to initiate and improve the efficacy of the system.

The aim is for the services for mental healthcare to receive maximum funding, minimal waiting times and the highest possible care. Whilst the government works towards improving the NHS mental healthcare system, this coverage may encourage those with mental health conditions to seek alternative remedies and turn to different avenues of support.

With increasing research into pharmaceutical drugs, which displays the challenges they may present users, those affected by mental health conditions may look to our growing natural health culture. Over the past few years, a steadily increasing amount of information on the wonders of natural mental wellbeing remedies has become available. From the medicinal properties of food, to self-help books and the healing ability of exercise, many of those affected by mental health may now be inspired to take action into their own hands and utilise this information. The Internet is a productive tool for this as many citizens now have access to abundant amounts of information. This may need to be supplemented by care only the NHS can provide, though may provide some alleviation during the process.

This situation marks a productive challenge for the NHS and an opportunity for growth. The revelations of these figures and the coverage provided may apply much needed pressure on the government to apply the changes for mental health previously promised, opening up a revitalised mental healthcare system. Additionally those affected can look forward to permanently improved services, and may be pushed to access alternative remedies, which might enhance their lives more effectively than with NHS treatment alone. Furthermore, the repeated coverage on mental health challenges may mark yet another step in its understanding and recognition from both government and society as a whole.

How would you suggest the NHS efficiently utilise its funds for mental healthcare? 

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