Something I’m very strong about is the topic of mental illness, and in my opinion it can be just as equally damaging as a physical illness. Mental illness is such a complicated topic as a whole, and I can’t personally speak out on how it feels and the devastating effects it has, but I’ve seen it happen and witnessed the damaging effects it can have on a persons stability, self esteem and behaviour. There are hundreds of different types of mental illnesses, from anorexia nervosa and OCD, to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and all of them deserve sensitivity, patience and care.
Mentally ill people are often misunderstood, and discriminated insensitively in the work place, or thought of as less capable than other workers; it’s wrong. Like I said, mental illness is such a complicated topic as a whole, and the person is often battling several emotions at once and so to deal with it insensitively and pass them off as a nobody, incapable or worthless is shameful and disgusting. It’s a damaging and poisonous message often re-enforced by the media, as a hidden form of imperceptive of the reality of it. The fact that people mock, bully and make thick-skinned, hard hearted and inconsiderate comments towards them is adding to exactly why many are taking their lives each year, and only making the problem worse, as a considerable amount lay off the professional help they require and deserve, on fear of being mocked, judged and handled insensitively, a fear that is not far from reality, when you look at the amount of ignorance that exists today.
Considering about 1 in 4 people will face some form of mental illness in their life, it’s not something which can be slagged off as a rare problem. It’s quite common, and the more ignorance that remains towards it, the worse the neglect will get, and the harder it will be to identify it.
Something that’s been in the news fairly recently is the fact that there are not enough beds provided by hospitals, which means that mentally ill patients, especially minors under 18, are being held in POLICE CELLS. It seems absurd, and it is; a person with a mental health issue needs specialist and if life threatening, urgent specialist treatment. It’s a risky last resort to put them there, especially because it can heighten their illness. An already mentally ill person should not have to face the trauma of a police cell for days on end, as it will only worsen their condition. Mentall illness is NOT A CRIME. There was a young woman under 18 on the news recently who was detained in a police cell for weeks, and took her life after the traumatic and damaging experience, after being released when it appeared there were no sufficient beds in the NHS.
One report said “For many people experiencing an acute health crisis, a police officer is not the professional best placed to help them, nor is dealing with acute health crises the best use of police officers’ time and skills.’
And that’s correct.
As I stated, mental illness is a complicated illness, and they deserve support and genuine assistance. A police officer and a mental health professional have two very different roles, and it’s often that a police officer does not understand the mental health problem,as it’s not a field they are trained in, nor expected to provide. Although most likely unintentional, in police cells, they are more likely to be neglected as they lack the understanding, patience and compassion that someone needs as they go through the hard time which mental illnesses provide.
I personally find it crazy how more isn’t being done to provide the extra beds, and resources that the NHS needs to accommodate the public, not only for mental illnesses, but for many life threatening diseases. Not only that, but the mentally ill are constantly being mishandled in the justice system, and their actions are being criminalized. IT’S WRONG.
Mental illness is NOT a choice; it should be treated with upmost sensitivity.
Check out the story behind police cell use for the mentally ill: http://news.sky.com/story/1422557/end-police-cell-use-for-mentally-ill-say-mps
Click this link for common myths, statistics, causes and effects of mental illness: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-statistics-facts