I feel guilty for even typing the words of the title! I can’t underestimate the power of what Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Kent have done over the last few months. And I completely stand corrected on my opinion of Bryony Gordon, who I used to think was a “blabbermouth”!
The power of some of the most publicly visible and respected people in the country opening up about their mental issues over the very public death of their mother, Diana, is immeasurable. This WILL start the conversation we all need; it will ensure that the stigma attached to mental health issues starts to recede. To view the Royals as privileged whingers is very naïve: how would you like so much of your life to be public and constantly in the newspapers? Especially something like the ghastly death of your mother. These guys are the epitome of dignity and resilience. Do they suffer from stress? You bet they do and they have more reason than most of us.
So in view of the above, how an earth can the Heads Together campaign be creating a massive problem down the line?
The answer lies in 4 statistics about the NHS:
- 1 in 5 people in the UK has to wait a year for their mental health therapy
- 1 in 10 people has to wait 2 years
- Only 41.8% of people complete their mental health therapy programme
- Only 5% of the NHS research budget goes on mental health
Firstly let me point out that in no way am I having a pop at the struggling NHS or even more importantly the incredibly committed and empathetic people that work in it. These are unfortunately the NHS’ own statistics.
My issue is that the NHS is already incapable of helping those who have currently put their hand up and asked for help. The wonderful work that Heads Together has done is unfortunately only going to increase the size of this problem. Both government and the private sector need to focus immediately on this problem and this is one of the reasons we, at The Mark Newey Method, are ramping up our activity to provide mental healthcare initially locally and over the next 2 years nationally.