It’s often hard to figure out the best way to treat mental health, both as an individual and a society. This does, however, raise the question of whose role it is to provide this care. With the UK being a bastion of the so called welfare state it becomes the role of the government and its services to provide care. But are we missing something in the sense of community support and neighbourly assistance. Whilst living standards improve year upon year the answer seemingly does not rely on the material things. We have become less sociable, more competitive and more anxious. Loneliness is on the rise especially amongst the elderly. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45.
In the decade post financial crisis we have seen dramatic changes in the way the country operates. It has been modernised, moved onto the cloud and automated. But something has been cast aside in the search for the new and better. Local council services. Especially in deprived areas the closing of youth play and communal areas has lead to, or at least assisted a rise in violence and depression. Being unable to socialise with the community in a constructive manner has detached people from their neighbours and surroundings.
Another casualty of the austerity era is the NHS. As the most highly approved government service (93% of UK citizens believe in some kind of public health service) it would come as a surprise, or at least should have, that our beloved NHS is severely underfunded. Waiting times have increased and in many cases patients are not getting the emergency treatment they need. It also lacks the ability to provide many kinds of cutting edge care necessary for the saving of lives.
Whilst it may seem like the role of the state to provide effective care swift progression is being made in the private sector. The growth of AI enabled technology surrounding mental health has been fast and necessary. The introduction of online counselling services has made it easier than ever to get the help you need. This is alongside more esoteric programmes such as OxfordVR who are using virtual reality to help people get over phobias.
Whilst we have a long way to go with tackling the many issues surrounding mental health, progression is being made. Whilst public services, at least in the UK, are struggling, private businesses and NGOs are stepping into fill the gap. Whatever the future holds we are going to need not only technological progression but creative thinking to manage this issue. To find out what we, here at cathartic, are doing to tackle mental health click the link below and explore our website.