It’s great to see famous people talking about their mental health issues in an attempt to raise mental health awareness. Professor Green wants to talk about how his father’s suicide affected his life. Freddie Flintof had a period when he was depressed and felt suicidal, and now more and more celebrities are talking about their illnesses. And good for them they had the money to buy the right services and right treatment that would have made their illness less off an illness, and when the problem had been solved, they would have wrestled themselves from their luxury barns and got in contact with well-connected friends and found new work. Maybe even sold a book about the illness, for a celebrity every negative event can lead to a money making adventure, but that doesn’t detract from the harrowing experience of a mental illness experienced by the less well off.
But on the other side of the pond where people work on a say an average wage of 25k and less, and their illness leaves them unemployed and at the mercy of the mental health services, there is another story to be told. It’s not about just raising awareness about mental health but providing the right services for everyone to get fair treatment. Anyone made unemployed by a mental health illness, will, if they are lucky, get access to a psychiatrist. But if they are deemed not that bad the best they can find themselves is out of a job and no access to talking therapies. Can they really afford the £50 per hour for a councillor, or even more? The celebrities have hope, the unemployed have an illness on top of an illness. The services just aren’t there.
In the beginning when the situation is VERY critical there is all manner of help but then you are left with the after services, weakly linked employment groups who are powerless to get you back into work, then the problem is compounded. The mentally ill are just on medication and left wandering the high street like lost ghosts. This is life for the mentally ill when you are made poor through unemployment. Access to good councillors on the NHS, and good work coaches to help people back into work is a necessity.
A mental illness is like a broken leg or cancer. If you count a serious mental illness like psychosis or schizophrenia, or a depression or anxiety that forcibly leaves you unable to move. It requires the same kind of recovery even if that means a work coach to give you back the confidence that you had before you were laid off from work. Of course, this means more cash for the right people, and celebrities can do more to challenge the government to provide better services, rather than talking about how ill they were, and how they managed to recover, only themselves, before getting on with their lives.