Are there enough MH services for those who need it? (Five opinions on the subject matter.)

Last month I tweeted out a poll to see if people on twitter think that there are enough facilities for mental health sufferers. Though the poll didn’t apply to a specific area, it did conclude that 93% of those who completed the poll thought that there were not enough facilities.

Rosie, a 21-year-old mental health blogger from Crewe, said that she received help through child services in 2013 after a 18 week wait. She believes that the situation is reaching a crisis point and that there needs to be more done about it. Rosie’s only option was medication after going back as an adult patient but feels that there should be more easily accessible options for everyone, regardless of whether they have already had help before or not. Rosie took on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and with this, she has been able to work on her anxiety.

“Without sounding cheesy, it has changed my life. I was so sceptical at first but it really worked. I didn’t like leaving the house before but now I’m at university.” she said. She also said that she believes that mental health facilities are needed more now than ever, even if people are able to access mental health nurses at school if they need them.

Through blogging, Rosie has been able to help people who are facing similar problems she was a few years ago. She’s been able to also meet like-minded people and share the same goal of breaking down mental health stigmas.

Similarly, 18-year-old Chloe from Manchester, said that she thought that more needs to be done about the mental health services available to people. Chloe has been on the waiting list for counselling for almost three years and has been told that she is not a ‘high risk patient’ therefore has to wait leat another year. Chloe believes that there needs to be more services available especially towards the counselling sector so people like herself don’t need to rely on medication. With more services, the stigma of mental health can continue to break down.

You can read both their blogs in the links provided at the bottom of the blog post.

Another blogger, who wished to remain anonymous said that she believes the stigma of mental health is still prevalent. Now 17, she still struggles with her anxiety often up at 3am completing breathing exercises and calming herself down. She said: “To improve mental health services, I think it’s definitely to give the same resources and money that is given to physical health and the same consideration”.

Similar to Rosie’s suggestion, this blogger said that there needs to be done within school personal development focusing on mental health of students as there are always external causes and there can be so much more done.

18-year-old Harriet said that there was an ‘obvious’ lack of resources. Harriet found the child services much better than the adult services. With the lack of funding of adult services, she has only been able to receive six sessions before having to go back on the waiting list. Harriet however believes that the services available are really good and staff make the most of what they’ve got. Harriet has found services such as Samaritans and Kooth have been really helpful but believes staffing levels need to be increased.

All four of these emphasised how they believe that there need to be more services and support available for mental health suffers. With more services, more individuals are able to get the help they need. However, there was someone who said that the mental health services available to them had actually made the anxiety worse.

By talking to someone at the sixth form with many different people around, people they knew, it made it feel more uncomfortable rather than how it was supposed to be. There was not enough support available and he believes that the best tool is to help yourself as nobody knows yourself better than you.

Contact the bloggers I interviewed:

Rosie 
Blog link – https://ourrose.wordpress.com
Twitter – @rosiebsteele

Chloe
Blog link – https://mysecondattemptthistime.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter – @mysecondattempt

 

An Interview with Ben Power, Director of ‘Spring Reign’ play.

Spring Reign – A story from the Syrian Conflict:

Spring Reign” follows Aisha and Salah, two Syrians who have given refuge to two unexpected Westerners during the war. The play connects photographers, journalists and ordinary people to the Syrian crisis and aims to provide a platform to promote discussion and understanding. It has successfully used real life personal stories to educate those who don’t entirely know what is currently happening in Syria or wish to learn more about it.

When talking to Ben Power, I asked him a few questions starting with how the tour was. The play has been performed on ten different stages beginning at The Lowry in Salford and finishing at a festival theatre in Hyde. Though it only went on for a month, according to the director, the team were highly successful in achieving their aims and goals to begin with. Ben Power said:

“We’ve been able to hear people really appreciate and hear other sides of the Syrian stories. We’ve also been to bigger cities, with more diverse audiences, people with all sorts of different backgrounds coming to watch this play. Again, we’ve had a really fantastic response with these audiences”.

The play has taken a few years to become exactly what the team have wanted it to become. In 2012, the production of the play came into place and a little bit of work was done at Imperial War Museum in Salford in 2013. By 2015, Spring Reign had been taken into the Lowry and a theatre mill in Bradford. It then took a further two years, now 2017, for the play to have travelled around the U.K and for the tour to have taken place.

When asked why the play was called ‘Spring Reign’ Power said:

“While the ‘Arab Spring’ presented hope and positivity through the Middle East, the conflict in Syria has become a humanitarian crisis like no other. In Syria, it was quashed by the oppressive government and his Assad’s reign of terror”.

Director Ben described the play as doing exactly what it aimed to do. With the main stream media showing us the horror and consequences of the Syrian conflict, the play has allowed viewers to see how life has changed for ordinary people such as Salah and Aisha. It has brought communities to come together to understand the extent of the conflict and to find out about organisations who are helping these civilians in Syria.

When I asked him how he’s found the tour, Spring Reign director said: “Very rewarding. My team and I were accepted by the Syrian community and they’ve really supported us with the play. They have had a positive attitude toward it and in some way allowed us to advocate for their cause and it makes me proud that we’ve been able to do this.”

Following on from this, he said that the feedback for the play has also been really good with press releases and audiences showing really good feedback. People have said they were moved and humbled by the performance; that many did not realise the impact the war had on the volume of ordinary people and this play has really shown that. The play has covered topic such as hope and resilience and audiences have really been able to engage with that.

Spring Reign has and is working two charities, Syria Relief and Rethink and Rebuild. Syria Relief are a Manchester based charity which take aid to Syria and work with medics. They also train people on the grounds in Syria and aid them with the basics, such as food and water. Syria Relief have been able to remain the livelihood of the people of Syria and have been able to keep people busy and active.

I then asked him what he thought the solution of the current conflict was. He said that there isn’t a single thing which would be the solution to the crisis. “Nothing can change until civilians are protected. Once people are given safe places and they are allowed to live their lives again without fear. The people who aren’t a part of the opposition groups or the different fraction who oppose to fighting against the government, they need protecting. Once this has happened, there will be space for dialogue”.

The director said that the idea of Spring Reign came by chance, with little background as a political theatre maker, he did not know whether he would enjoy it. He hopes that the work he creates has an impact on the people who watch it, that it encourages them to ask questions but also educate themselves on important topics which affect mass amounts of people.

To find out more about the director Benedict Power and more of his work go to:
http://benedictpower.co.uk

 

 

I’m watching Spring Reign tonight!

Hi all,

I know I’ve not updated my blog recently, with Ramadan I’ve been very busy and unable to post as much as I’ve wanted to. However, I booked tickets to watch a play tonight and actually I’m really excited. The play, Spring Reign, directed by Benedict Power and scripted by award winning writer Rob Johnston follows the conflict in Syria and tells us a story that reflects the pain and suffering that the people face. It has been showcased in ten different locations beginning at Salford’s Lowry Theatre and finishing tonight at Hyde’s Festival Theatre.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get a good interview with Ben Power, the director himself and hear what he has to say about the play and the success of it. I shall update and upload a new post once it’s finished!

Wish me luck,

Shafia