Reflection on Mental Health Awareness Week with a look to the future.
By Keith James, Solicitor/Partner
Last week, 8 to 14 May 2017, marked UK Mental Health Awareness week for 2017. The purpose of this annual event is to ‘prompt a national conversation about what we can do as communities, schools, families and individuals ‘to move from surviving to thriving’ (The Mental health foundation).
There is little doubt that in recent months awareness of the wide variety of mental health conditions and of the impact of mental health problems has grown and now appears to be rising up the political agenda.
High profile individuals who have experienced the impact of issues such as depression, including prominent figures in the football world, have helped to shine a light on how mental health problems can impact on the lives of everyday people – Mental Health issues do not discriminate.
Also in the news have been many stories from prominent individuals of how bereavement can impact on families and how help can be provided to families to talk through these issues.
Of particular current interest is how the result of the general election will impact on Mental Health Law and the provision of Mental Health Services. Already suggestions have been made of manifesto commitments to increase provision of community mental health staff and services but also a suggestion that the Mental Health Act should be replaced. This perhaps is the most intriguing suggestion.
The Mental Health Charity, Mind, has called for a review of the Mental health Act but there is a suggestion this could go further to avoid ‘unnecessary detentions’. It will certainly be interesting, during the General Election campaign, to see if this forms part of a manifesto commitment. Of particular interest will be what alternative proposals are suggested.
There is little doubt that Mental Health issues have risen up the political agenda, and for CJCH will continue to be an important part of our focus and drive to support our community.
For any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact our Mental Health and Mental Capacity Law team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +44 333 231 6405 (24 hour emergency line: +44 7967 305949)