Did you hear the one about there ‘being no health without mental health’? It was supposed to be a serious Government pledge, just made meaningless by the government decision to cut funding to non-acute services (which includes mental health) by 1.8% (see: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/12/mental-health-funding-changes-lives-risk )
All the social pressures which lead to mental distress are on the rise for increasing numbers of people; unemployment, rising prices in food and fuel, instability in social housing especially since the bed-room tax, penalties and benefit-cuts against those who don’t obey all the rules of the Job Centres. Increasing numbers of decisions to withdraw benefits are overturned on appeal but those affected have often had to manage without any money for months. Social factors are by far the most significant contributors to psychological vulnerability.
I was at an arts project session earlier today with people who use mental health services and we were discussing experiences and memories of poverty and how much has changed in our society towards materialism and acquisition. We read together the simple evocative poem The Good Life (see: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/246250 ) Read it too and see if you can remember that pay day feeling – those
“One or two nights like everyone else On roast chicken and red wine.”