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GSD highlights mental health support ‘deficiencies’

The GSD has claimed that the results of its ‘Healthy Minds Matter’ survey have highlighted a number of “deficiencies” in the care of people needing mental health support.

This comes as the party published the results of the survey which was launched last month to gage how current mental health services are performing.

The survey saw a total 704 respondents take part and, according to the GSD, the response highlights a number of “deficiencies” in the care of people needing mental health support.

It also illustrates the common causes of mental health issues, the GSD claimed.

The survey was designed in two parts. The first part asked general questions related to mental well being, applicable to any member of the community, this part was fully completed by a total 694 respondents.

“It is important to note that almost 70% of respondents were in fact women, with men clearly showing some reluctance in participating in such initiatives,” the GSD said in a statement.

Additionally, the GSD said the questionnaire has revealed a serious cause for concern from respondents who feel anxious or stressed.

“Particularly, the younger respondents have expressed a high level of stress/anxiety despite their young age together with an increased sense of worry due to education/examinations.”

The under 18 demographic who responded to the survey also surveyed the highest with regards to concerns in relation to loss or breakdown in relationships, the GSD said.

The Government has already announced a Child and Adolescent Psychology Service commencing in January 2019.

The GSD said it fully supports this and hopes this will be a good starting point in addressing mental health issues in the younger community.

Additionally, the party said: “Financial stability, employment and health were key indicators throughout respondents, however, in the under 34’s housing played a major factor, no doubt the financial inability of purchasing on the open market twinned with the impasse on Government affordable housing plans weighs down in people’s minds.”

“Bullying also set an interesting result when filtered by age, with percentage increases in the older demographics, certainly something the GSD will be looking into given there are 130 respondents (18%) who expressed concern in this area.”

It added that drugs and alcohol was also a consistent factor throughout respondents.

The GSD said it is already working on policies regarding this important issue, not only for addicts/users, but also their families and relatives who also suffer as a result of abuse.

The second part related to questions specifically targeted at persons who are personally involved in dealing with mental health problems whether directly, or indirectly, such as friends, family and carers.

The number of respondents in this section varied with an average 200 respondents taking part overall.

The GSD said: “One of the main points revealed in this part of the survey is how easily people who are suffering from mental health issues can give up on seeking care if the appropriate care service is not there to embrace them.”

Additionally, it added, there are instances in breaks of continuity of care and an apparent lack of aftercare which prove detrimental to mental health.

Shadow Minister for Health and Care Lawrence Llamas said: “We are very pleased with the overall response and participation of the survey, however we shall not stop here.”

“As part of its outreach programme, the GSD shall be following up this survey with a survey appealing health professionals and clinicians to contribute.”

“The aim is to identify positive recommendations and genuinely listen carefully to the views expressed by the experts on the ground delivering our health care.”

“These initiatives will no doubt assist in shaping policy for the future.”

“Having said that, what I want to really emphasise is that until mental health is fully recognised and treated equally to physical health, we must and will continue to work hard at it all year round and not just on awareness days.”

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