Opinion, analysis and debate
Over the past 12 years, I have been involved in co-ordinating and co-facilitating horticulture therapy groups for school-aged children in Liverpool.
It is time we stopped talking about mental health and physical health as separate and unrelated.
The move to a purpose-built mental health unit from pre-fabricated buildings in the grounds of a Victorian asylum in 2011 has allowed staff to provide care and support for service users with greater safety and dignity.
We need to change cultures, remove the stigma that is attached to talking about mental health and encourage open discussion.
The growing emphasis on the promotion of mental health, the prevention of ill-health and improving the lives of people living with mental health difficulties is long-awaited and welcomed.
The flurry of press releases this week signalled the approach of World Mental Health Day, as did the timing of a few new policy pledges from the UK governments and their arm’s-length bodies.
The high profile case of Billy Caldwell, who has a severe form of epilepsy, brought the therapeutic benefit of cannabis into the headlines.
Do mental health nurses have the appropriate skills and knowledge to look after patients’ physical health needs?
I’m having coffee with a nurse friend. She has been doing what she does for 15 years and can’t remember the last time her feet didn’t hurt. She is on her fourth espresso and has the wide-eyed stare of a kitten that has just seen wool for the first time. She leans across the table and says; “I’m thinking of making a break for it.”
Are we taking mental health seriously enough?Subscription
In recent years, mental health has been a topic that has received increased coverage – not least due to changing attitudes and effective public campaigns aimed at removing the stigma surrounding the area.