Mental Health Matters
Mental Health Awareness Week was founded by the Mental Health Foundation and will take place from the 13th-19th May 2019. The Mental Health Foundation has collected great knowledge over the past 60 years which has been down to their rigorous research and practical studies; knowledge that has been used to pioneer change and challenge the status quo or tackle difficult or under-researched issues. It was created to raise awareness for topics such as: stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol, and friendship.
Approximately one in six people in the UK experience a mental health problem each week, with Mental Health UK reporting that mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people living with it. Further reports suggest that between 4-10% of people will experience depression in their lifetimes.
Mental Health UK has said that over the past year, 74% of UK adults have been ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ with stress. This is reflected in that statistic that over 15 million working days, or 41 thousand years, were lost to work-related stress in 2017/18 in Great Britain. The astronomical total of days lost put greater stress on the remaining workforce, especially that of the NHS.
Another widespread mental health condition is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a disorder that causes someone to have obsessive, intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviour. Treatments include psychological therapies and medication. A statistic from the BBC shows that medicines dispensed for OCD and panic attacks have increased 108.5% from 2006 to 2016 to over 65m; proving that the number of mental health cases has increased hugely over the past decade or so.
‘Stresses’ on NHS and Social Care Staff
While 23% of NHS activity is taken up by mental illness, mental health trusts have been receiving only about 11% of funding in recent years. This is reflected in the lack of mental health staff in the NHS, with an existing shortfall of 22,000 staff according to Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price in 2018. This puts massive strain on workers around the organisation — compounded by a figure from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which explains that there has been more than 300 suicides by NHS nurses over the past seven years.
Moving away from the NHS, according to Carers.org, there are seven million carers in the UK. 11% of carers specialise in dementia, totalling 770,000 people. It is vitally important that Dementia has a large total of workers as there are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK; a total that is set to rise to over one million by 2021 (Dementia UK). The Alzheimer’s Society has reported that of the total amount of dementia carers, nine out of 10 will experience stress or anxiety at least several times a week; with a further 80% saying that they find it difficult to talk about the emotional impact of caring for those living with dementia.
Raising awareness of the effect that mental health has on NHS staff and social care workers is one of the amazing jobs that Mental Health Awareness Week does. Not only does mental health affect dementia carers, but it affects those who have to live with the disease every day.
Mental Health at MediWeek 2020
At MediWeek 2020, the Dementia, Care and Nursing Home Expo and the European Neuro Convention will be co-located in the same exhibiting hall, so visitors can experience the care pathway from start to finish. The pathway will start with the diagnostic stage, move through to the rehabilitation of service users, and finally end with the care process.
Also in the same exhibiting hall, the Home Care Expo will be running alongside the two shows. The domiciliary care industry is worth approximately £5 billion and it employees over 500,000 staff, who, like care home staff, are massively overstretched and overworked.
MediWeek supports Mental Health Awareness Week’s vision of supporting good mental health for both carers and nurses, and service users across the UK. The Dementia, Care and Nursing Home Expo provides a focus catered towards the carers and nurses who devote their working life to providing the best possible care for service users. Each year employers lose £2.4 billion to mental health problems amongst their staff. A more patient-specific focus can be found at the European Neuro Convention, where a more clinical focus, with procedures such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (r-TMS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) being discussed in great depth.