Category Archives: stigma

Norfolk and Suffolk mental health patients in beds miles from home

Up to 50 mental health patients in Norfolk and Suffolk had to be sent to other parts of England last week because of a shortage of beds and a shortfall in funding.

In June Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised the “unacceptable” distances Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) patients had to travel for beds.

The NSFT said the trust was committed to cutting the use of out-of-area beds.

It cut the number from 34 to six by September, but it has gone up to 50.

The scandal of common mental illnesses left untreated

Would we tolerate a situation in which the majority of those suffering from diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis were left to fend for themselves, or asked to make do with inferior therapies?

Imagine you are the campaigns manager of a political party. You are aware of a public health crisis that, at any one time, affects a third of the population, reduces life expectancy as drastically as smoking, is more disabling than angina, asthma, or diabetes, and reduces GDP by around 4% each year. You know this crisis can be substantially – and cheaply – alleviated. Wouldn’t you make the issue a central theme in your election campaign?

Carers are the best kind of people. So why are they treated so disgracefully?

My brother’s carer had to leave, her minimum wage not enough to survive on. My brother is heartbroken. I’m furious

The Guardian,

Swimming carer

‘There is no training course in the world that can truly prepare you for becoming a carer: it’s something you either have or you don’t.’ Photograph: Gary Calton

We lost someone important to us this weekend. My mum rang me, crying from a hotel room, after Megan had said goodbye, and what a shame it was. She didn’t want to go. We didn’t want her to go either.

Megan was my younger brother’s carer. His autism and epilepsy means he needs round-the-clock assistance. Megan had split up with her boyfriend, and the minimum wage she was being paid was not enough for her to live alone – so she has to go away, to live with her parents. My brother will not understand this: he will just see that she is gone, and miss her. But we understand it. Having witnessed the work of a succession of carers while I was growing up, I not only noticed what an incredible, noble thing it is to devote your time to looking after someone more vulnerable than you, but also how little society gives a toss about it.

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