This statement by Dr. Heatley is shocking on it’s own, but it is a symptom of what happens when you simply don’t have the resources to provide mental health treatment.
Dr Jonathan Heatley, a GP in West Sussex, said: “One way to get to the system very quickly is to attempt suicide.”
“Mental health services wash their hands. They just say “it doesn’t meet our criteria” but don’t suggest who does.”
The investigation by GP magazine Pulse examined policies at 29 of 56 NHS mental health trusts which operate specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
It found that just six trusts accepted all levels of severity.
When you don’t have enough resources for treatment, you triage. Only the most severe cases get immediate assistance. Those who aren’t as severe, wait, and possibly, those beyond hope, are ignored.
Imagine if you were given a cancer diagnosis and told it’s in the early stages, so when you get to Stage 4, we’ll start treatment.
See, you wouldn’t do that, because we know that the earlier treatment can start, the better chance for success. Mental Health is no different. The earlier you can get people help, the better chance of success. The longer it goes on, the worse it gets, and the treatment becomes longer and more complex.
But, when you don’t have the resources, you have to make choices on who gets treatment, and who waits. In the UK, if you have the financial means to pay for private treatment, that may be one of the few roads to early treatment.
That leaves behind a whole lot of people who are dying while on a waiting list. How do we get to them with something that will help ensure they make it through that wait?