Of the funds for health care, only 1% is spent on Mental Health. When Mental Hospitals closed, the emphasis was on Care in the Community, but it has not been well funded and care is patchy, depending on where you live.
Jane Lever, a Psychiatric Nurse with over 40 years of experience gave us an excellent overview of mental health issues, painting a vivid picture of the problems and how they can be addressed. An element of mental health training should be reintroduced to general nursing training. In a busy ward, it is difficult for nurses to spend time with a patient to discuss their feelings and worries about any treatment. Stigma, fear of admitting, and fear of being judged are all problems faced by those with mental health difficulties, which the overstretched community psychiatric nurses do their best to alleviate. There are improving links with charities such as MIND.
Varied questions and lively discussion made for a fascinating meeting and we know that this issue is being discussed at every WI branch in the country. Edington & Tinhead members voted unanimously to support the motion “Mental Health matters as much as Physical Health”. We also agreed that:
- A MIND representative should be invited to visit
- Some of our members will research local services
- We will then invite our local MP to discuss these services.
Wine and nibbles and a chance to influence provision at a local and national level – the WI in action!