More support needed for mental health patients

Posted by Elizabeth O'Mahony, 9th June 2017
BL Claims Solicitors recently participated in Mental Health Awareness Week; an opportunity to promote and cultivate good mental health, reflecting on the resources and tools currently available, in addition to awareness of what more needs to be done.

In the run up to this event, the Mental Health Foundation published an interesting research study entitled Surviving or Thriving”

The findings show that nearly two thirds of people have experienced a mental health problem, the most commonly reported illness is depression and that worryingly only a small minority of people (13%) reported living with high levels of good mental health.

These figures are significant and obviously signal the need for a change in attitude and a change in practice. As a Clinical Negligence lawyer with experience of working with clients with mental health issues I have seen first-hand how difficult it can be for them to bring a claim when they do not receive adequate medical care – this needs to change.

To promote a “thriving” nation, we need a government that can back such a movement, promoting greater understanding of mental health issues within the wider community but also by providing adequate funding that can address and manage the scale of mental health problems that currently exist in our society.

Campaigning for mental health, with high profile events such as the Headway initiative at the London Marathon, is certainly a step in the right direction. However, unfortunately, people seeking help are still being failed and this is not just within the hospital or GP setting, but at work and in school.

At BL Claims Solicitors, we have been instructed by family members of individuals with serious mental health problems that were not treated appropriately, often being left unsupervised when they presented a risk to themselves, resulting in fatal consequences. The importance of adequate training within the mental health arena, in addition to the provision of proper care and resources to treat such patients is evident.

Let’s hope this issue continues to gain momentum and that our forthcoming government can tackle mental health head on. In the meantime, if you or a family member has not received adequate mental health care, please get in touch with our clinical negligence team who will be able to advise on the best course of action Click here for more details.

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