To celebrate World Mental Health Day, the staff at Breaking the Stigma would like to present a short post about where we are in 2017, and how far mental health support has come in the more recent years.
First of all - the statistics (as of 2017):
All of these numbers can seem disheartening, but in order for us to move forward we must look positively at how we can bring about changes within the system, as well as the common perspective of mental health. Of course we still have a long way to go and are by no means where we want to be, at least for now. The graphs below show some of the statistics in diagram form.
As you can see from the graph, more and more people are seeking help each year, with a rise of up to over 1,800,000 in 2014/15. Shamefully, however, the number of people admitted has decreased each year, with a very steep drop in 2012. For patients to have faith in the mental health system, a rise in admissions is absolutely crucial to ensure that.
The decline in the number of nurses working in psychiatry will, no doubt, have had a major impact on the services provided (or not provided) to patients, as well as how effectively treatment is being received. The lack of funding on the government's part to the mental health sector is not only inexcusable, but also causing severe damage to the lives of many patients, slowing down recovery.
It is clear that although awareness of mental health might be becoming increasingly prominent, there is still a long way to go until the stigma has gone. As a society, we need to be more forgiving towards mental health and the general attitude towards it, not just with our relatives and close friends, but also in the workplace. Until we can all fully understand and appreciate how difficult it can be to carry the weight of mental illness, we cannot completely move forwards toward a level and fair society.
Thank you for reading this World Mental Health Day special and I hope you will join the movement to de-stigmatise mental health and open the discussion for all to hear.