21 January 2018
Green Councillors are concerned that there are more self-harm related hospital admissions among under 18s, and more suicides in the adult population in Stroud District than the national average in England.
Childrens' mental health services in the county are struggling to cope with demand as growing numbers of young people suffer with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.
Many mental health professionals work long hours, in difficult conditions, on low pay and often with insecure job tenure; and are often too tired to give the most empathetic service that patients deserve. The Green Party would seek to improve their working conditions along with the status of these important roles. This would help with staff retention as well as the continuity and quality of care.
It is clear that the biggest improvements would be made by focusing on prevention: minimising the factors that lead children to experience neglect, abuse, childhood trauma, poverty, domestic violence, over reliance on social media, bullying and insecure housing.
If we treated mental health in the same way that we treat physical health, then pressures on A&E would also be significantly less. Green Councillors would like to see a shift away from current drug centred approaches to treating mental health, which can dramatically change personality to an approach based on 'Talking Therapies'.
One amazing, local family who tragically experienced the suicide of their son and brother, have set up the Sunflowers Suicide Support Charity. They felt that there was little provision in Gloucestershire for people dealing with the suicide of a family member. They already offer vital support such as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Grief Recovery Support and Counselling – see their website www.sunflowerssuicidesupport.org.uk. One message that the charity highlights is the ability to listen - everyone has a story, they just need a chance to be heard.
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