Whilst out at lunch today, I happened to pick up a newspaper, something i don’t normally read as it is all so depressing and I have enough of that all ready. However, the front story, yet another political one caught my attention. After speed reading through the above article, which continued over several pages, i turned over to a middle page, where a appeared a story far more worthy of the front page and several pages, there after.
The story was about a young man of 18 years who had suddenly developed depression and although both he and his family tried to get him help and support from the local health authority and the National Health Service (NHS) but with a system that is under staffed and over loaded the help was no not forthcoming.
Within just six weeks the young man had been to visit several people, but in reality he had been seen by no one. Not one of the people, who were qualified professionals, actually saw how desperate he was and therefore when a letter came through the post inviting him to attend an appointment some six months in the future, the young man had taken himself outside and laid down on the train tracks in front of an express train.
Now, if this was a one of or a one in thousands that had fallen through the net i would of still been saddened, but had found it easier to accept, however I know from my own mental health problems over the years it is not.
The last time i was in crisis was about four years ago and i was ready to walk under a bus, i wouldn’t go near the train station in case i stepped out in front of a train. Now, I was lucky, but not because of the failing NHS, but because of one of my daughters who worked for a charity who supported displaced adults and she knew of an organization that was also a charity (Off the Record) who i was put in touch with. The counselor and the organization saved my life and all they seem to do is listen, but listening is what i needed at that time. At the end of sessions the counselling told me that he had not seen anyone with depression as severe as me and he had feared for my life.
Some 18 months later i too received my letter from the NHS counselling service, not offering me an appointment, but asking me if i still wanted/needed counselling. It is time that things changed. It is time that those who have depression are in serious need of help and that it is no joke.
Read Edward’s story here
Edward’s Trust – The MinEd Trust