Watching the political television debate last night with representatives of all major political parties a really important point came up. A member of the audience asked the question:
‘As most mental health problems start when you are young what are we going to do about increasing the provision of mental health services for these young people?’
This is a very good point, early life experiences can have a massive impact on your mental well being and being able to deal with issues as they arise when you are younger can really help your emotional state and help prevent you dealing with mental health problems when you are older.
However as we all know there is a limited budget for mental health provision and despite what the political parties say about increasing funding we all know that if one areas funding is increased another’s will probably suffer.
According to recent research from Richard Byng of Plymouth University and published in the British Journal of General Practice, young people aged 20-24 with mental health issues were the group most likely to get help, with 23% of those being referred to talking therapy. This percentage fell steadily with age to only 6% of those aged 70-74 being referred to talking therapy.
Only 13% of 18 year olds who had therapy saw a meaningful improvement in their condition, compared with 21% of those aged between 65-69. Therefore young people may not be the group that most benefit. A possible explanation for this could be due to a lack of engagement in younger people.
According to the Mental Health Foundation 20-28% of the elderly population have been shown to suffer with depression and 85% of these people receive no help. This is in comparison to only 10% of younger people suffering with any mental health condition.
In a continuing ageing population my worry is that by increasing funding in those younger services our provisions for the elderly, who also need our help and are less likely to get it, will decrease.
I have set up the Dr Julian App to try and increase the accessibility of mental healthcare to everyone and anyone in need. An elderly person who may not be able to leave their home can now get access to mental health services by using this App.
What are your thoughts?
Source: Dr julian