In the UK some people are facing the decision to pay for heating or for their mental health. 12 years of planned austerity from the “Neo-Con” political system of the United Kingdom has caused huge cuts not just to mental health services in the NHS, but also the supporting charities. The supporting charities used to provide counselling services or quasi-counselling services (such as listening and well-being interventions).
Mental health services in the UK have never been well-funded, in comparison to other areas of funding in the UK, which despite having a global reputation is actually rather patchy under the surface.
Many people unfortunately fall-short of the requirements for mental health support. They may not fit the exact categories of mental health services or have conditions, such as, chronic depression that fail to meet the requirements for a thorough intervention. However, even issues that do not require hospitalisation or an immediate threat to self or others can still cause major problems for an individual suffering from them.
People with personality disorders, chronic depression and nonspecific anxiety issues have problems within the quality of their life in multiple areas. They may suffer from relationship problems, work related issues, motivation, stress from within the family and even substance misuse issues.
This is why some people are weighing whether to keep the heating on or go see a private specialist.
As this BBC News article reports:
A lady is choosing to pay £100 a week to see a specialist in order to deal with her mental health concerns. Although it may seem like a terrible sacrifice it may very well be a good, but indeed difficult choice.
I can’t pretend that therapy is cheap or indeed affordable for some but it can make changes to a person’s life that are certainly worth the money and time it takes to go to therapy.
My route into becoming a therapist myself was through a prolonged disenchantment with my life and where I was in the world. I had sought help from the NHS but their reliance on medication, baffling approach to talk therapy and lack of care made me seek out help from a private therapist.
I wasn’t in a great financial position when entering into therapy but I thought there had to be more than what the NHS was offering, eventually I found the right person and I really excelled from there onwards. I was able to deal with anxiety, control depressive thoughts and build a meaning relationship. I achieve stability in my studying (I was very young at the time) and I went on to build a meaningful career.
Sometimes I actually do wonder with an air of dread, what would have become of me if I had relied on the NHS for help?