01 December 2007

Mental Health Inequalities

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is reporting that inequalities in the provision of specialist child mental health services have worsened in the last seven years.

Presumably we are expected to respond by demanding yet further investment so as to increase yet further the number of units and in-patient beds (both of which have increased over the seven years). Recalling how mental health-related hospital admissions resulting from cannabis use have almost doubled under Labour, one might understand why this would be a necessity.

And yet, given questions over the massive increase in prescription of medication for mental health problems among children that we have seen over the same period, and now that we know many young children who are diagnosed with mental disorders simply need time to settle down, perhaps we ought to be asking what level of specialist services are really required? Further, if the disproportionate provision in the south east (such as the vast majority of beds set aside for eating disorders being located in London) has arisen from "the effects of market forces," is there really a need for an equal level of provision across the country or are the problems particularly and increasingly acute in the south east? If this is the case, then why are conditions in the south east having such a negative impact on our young people? And how can we improve the situation to reduce the level of mental health problems in the south east to a level closer to those found elsewhere in the country?

Once again, are we simply treating symptoms rather than seeking to address root causes?

2 comments:

Freelander said...

Not only Mental Health inequalities:
Last week, one newspaper quoted figures for Cancer treatment in various areas. Oxfordshire (where Cameron's constituency is sitated)allocates less than half some other Health areas to this important area of Health Care. A big worry for any of us living in that area.

Mental Health said...

Very Good article , this article make some interesting points.

Mental Health Dir