MENTAL health illness can strike at any time of life, affect any age group, any demographic and can be extremely difficult to diagnose, let alone treat.
On this World Mental Health Day this newspaper is once more putting the spotlight on mental health, starting with the heartbreaking story of young mum Rachael Campey.
For almost two years now we have encouraged more discussion about mental health issues through our award-winning #speakyourmind campaign.
Nationally the focus has turned to mental health among young people, a growing problem which is woefully underfunded. Whilst individually people report difficulties accessing the right services and long waiting lists (which vary massively from area to area) the Government’s own spending watchdog warns of a ticking timebomb.
The National Audit Office warned that a quarter of young people who need mental health services are unable to access them from the NHS, and it said even that even if current proposals to spend an extra £ £1.4bn on the sector were delivered, there would still be a problem of staff shortages, poor data and a lack of spending controls on NHS clinical commissioning groups.
Rachael’s story is just one of many and goes to show that getting the right help can make a difference. We are pleased that more people are talking about mental health, but there’s still a way to go to ensure there is the help out there for people to reach out for.