Mental health care is so poor and underfunded that "lives are being ruined", a review by a taskforce set up by NHS England said. Too many people were not getting help or when they did it was often inadequate. Those with severe problems suffer 15-20 years shorter life expectancy. Suicide is rising following many years of decline.
25% of us in any year can expect to be diagnosed with a mental health issue. 75% receive no help. One in five mothers suffer mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth.
10% of children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem. Yet the average waiting time for a child to see a mental health practitioner is 21 weeks.
The Socialist Party has little doubt that the worsening mental health of the population is a result of the double pincer movement of a) an increasingly pressurised, ruthless and isolating capitalist system and b) the running down of the services that used to be there to pick up the pieces.
“For too many, especially black, Asian and minority ethnic people, their first experience of mental health care comes when they are detained under the Mental Health Act, often with police involvement, followed by a long stay in hospital,” Farmer and the taskforce’s vice-chair, Jacqui Dyer, a counsellor, mental health service user and carer, state in the report’s foreword.