Separating mental health from physical health isn’t working #crisishouses #NHS

Moving away from having just a Mental Illness Service?

The UK National Health Service has had a divide between physical and mental health.

I suggest greater integration (a greater overlap) is needed?

  • Have you ever met someone with a significant physical health problem who was not anxious?
  • Just about as rare is to find someone with a long-term mental health diagnosis who does not have physical health problems.

I suggest we all need to avoid the expression, “It is all in the mind” ( even though sometimes the troubles seem to only be from the ‘in the mind’, as in the ‘nocebo’ effect.

Much emotional distress comes from physical health conditions. Psychologists and psychiatrists need to have time to listen to their patients to better understand physical health challenges.

I have experienced of what seemed to be a MENTAL ILLNESS SERVICE rather than mental health service, while a change to focus on well-being and recovery has seemed to be underway.

Visiting a patient who was experiencing food allergies, exhaustion and dehydration on a psychiatric ward I asked a nurse if she had asked about these matters of physical health. The nurses reply was that the patient had a specific psychiatric disorder and ‘would lie’. Such assumptions can hold back recovery, while sometimes a psychiatric label seems to have been enough to stop any physical health intervention at all.

What can be changed?

Fortunately some changes are underway. One change that needs to be rolled out across the country is to replace most psychiatric wards from places where people are detained in distressing conditions with staff who have largely lost hope… with crisis houses, where people who are stressed and need respite can go to have a few days away from the pressures of work, family and modern life.

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