Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/779/17391
TV review: Failed by the privatising NHS
Josh Asker , Southampton Socialist Party
A recent BBC documentary "Failed by the NHS" shows the inability of the NHS and the government to help young people suffering from mental illness. Despite 1,600 young people taking their lives every year, services have been cut.
In times of austerity, unemployment and service cuts increase the pressures on young people. Depression and anxiety are four to ten times more prevalent among people who have been unemployed for over 12 weeks.
In the last two years the number of psychiatric beds has been cut by 2,000. This often leads to people with mental health problems being detained in police cells.
In 2011/12 more than 9,000 people were detained in cells under the mental health act, where by law they can be detained for three days.
Even some police chiefs complain that about a fifth of their time is spent dealing with mentally unwell people.
Government cuts have been particularly devastating for young people with mental illness. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, treating people aged under 18, has suffered a two-thirds funding reduction since 2010.
Meanwhile suicide rates are increasing. The number of people taking their own lives rose 8% between 2010 and 2011.
This government consistently picks on the sections of society where people are less likely to speak up. People suffering from mental illness are likely to be among the most vulnerable and isolated.
The NHS was a monumental gain achieved through working class struggle. But policies of privatisation carried through by Labour and now the Con-Dems and the brutal effects of austerity mean the service is consistently being undermined.
A socialist NHS would reverse privatisation initiatives and invest in services required to meet all our needs.
In The Socialist 11 September 2013:
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