I recently transferred to work in the Mental Health Service. Unfortunately like most parts of the world, Cinderella would feel at home. Fortunately, never mind a prince, there’s a team of clinicians and managers primed to change the fables that surround mental health care.
Like all good tales there are and will be advances and setbacks, villains and heroes, hopes raised, dashed and resurrected, tandem comedic and tragic moments and idealism balanced with a pragmatic approach.
I once had the experience of hearing from a recently appointed Department of Health policy advisor. He was addressing a crowd of people with over a thousand years of aggregated mental health experience without any deference or recognition of their experience or knowledge. My nurse colleague and I regarded each other with incredulity and sympathy. Why hadn’t they listened to the real experts during their ‘consultation’? Why would I have to try and convince the workers at the coalface to implement something they knew was doomed to fail?
My personal Brexit was spurred on by being one of the maligned managers manically trying to implement ill-conceived ideas of politicians. And if I hadn’t already left, Hunt’s statement that introducing a general “manager class” in the NHS may have been “an historic mistake” would have had me considering claiming asylum in a foreign land.
It’s great to be in a place where my skills are desired and sought; my arrival to the department was greeted with joy and relief; and within days colleagues were asking for my help with getting things done.
In the desert, the West is often touted as the vanguard from models of healthcare to press freedom. I’m not a fan of blanket neo-colonialisation especially after seeing the front cover of an American magazine emblazoned with ‘Trapped With A Madman’ and a headline inside declaring ‘Kim’s Nightmare: Trapped With A Madman.’”
I guess the whole world has a long way to go when it comes to our mental health.
At this hectic time, how is your mental health?