physical vs mental health image

Time to see health care in a new way?

physical vs mental health image

Is it time to re-evaluate how we view health and healthcare in the UK?

It seems that the way we view treating health doesn’t appear to be sustainable based on the current situation. The NHS is struggling to cope post-covid – in catching up with backlogs whilst maintaining its day to day activities. The waiting lists for mental health care on the NHS have never been longer.

This month’s blog highlights two articles from the last few weeks – discussing our current policy of health vs mental health. Both are well worth a read.

The big idea: should we drop the distinction between mental and physical health?

Edward Bullmore, The Guardian

Edward Bullmore (The Guardian, 12 Sept 2022) introduces his article by talking about his experience of covid. He explains that he started with physical symptoms which then shifted to include cognitive and mental health symptoms. He goes to to say, with (I feel) a touch of humour “However, this seamless intersection of physical and mental health is almost perfectly misaligned with the mainstream way of dealing with sickness in body and mind as if they are completely independent of each other.” Bullmore looks at why the status quo is likely to continue for the present. But then he also has some hope for the future. “There will be new treatments to tackle the physical causes of mental illness, which are expected to be many and variable between patients, rather than trying to smother symptoms by “one size fits all” treatment regardless of cause”.

I’m a psychologist – and I believe we’ve been told devastating lies about mental health

Sanah Ahsan, The Guardian

“Society’s understanding of mental health issues locates the problem inside the person – and ignores the politics of their distress”. A bold opening statement by Ahsan (The Guardian, 6 Sept 2022) which is then fully supported by the article. Ahsan looks at the rise in mental health issues as a symptom of wider problems in our society. She goes on to look at solutions to the problem. “The most effective therapy would be transforming the oppressive aspects of society causing our pain.”

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