Calls to #mental #health charity helpline increase by 50%, and a dramatic rise in #suicide rates.

mental-health-460_1013135cThe pressures of modern living are taking toll on the population as mental health charity, Mind, receives 50% more calls to its helpline during the past year.

The charity says that more callers are getting in touch with complex problems, with many of them stemming from financial worries. They urge people not to wait until they reach crisis point before they get in touch.

The University of Manchester released statistics from its ‘National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness’ report which show the suicide rate by people with mental health problems has increased, as has the rate of suicide in the general population – especially among the unemployed – , possibly because of the financial difficulties are facing.

The report suggests that more needs to be done to help people experiencing mental health difficulties with debts, housing, and employment.

Another charity, The Samaritans, have seen an increase in the number of calls they have received during the past year, reaching 5.1 million for the UK and Northern Ireland.

Rachel Kirby-Rider, Executive Director for Fundraising and Communications for The Samaritans, said:

“One in six calls made to Samaritans are about financial stress, with some of these about rent or housing in particular.

“Although we know that worries about money or the threat of losing a home can cause stress and depression, it’s also important to understand that suicide is complex. It’s seldom the result of a single factor and likely to have several inter-related causes.”

As the government places more pressure on the poor and vulnerable in our society, it is hardly surprising that the number of suicides will increase, as will the amount of stress and distress.

With mental health funding being an easy target for government, the system has become inefficient and is slowly but surely reaching a state where it is unable to provide proper care or intervention. As mental health funding continues to be cut, services are unable to provide proper care for existing patients, let alone any increase created because of the government’s welfare and housing policies.

If it were not for the work of mental health charities, there would be many people who would be abandoned by the state mental health system. Statistics on the exact contribution the voluntary sector makes to mental health services is unknown, but charities such as Mind are significantly involved in providing care and support to over 250,000 people through a network of 160 centres across the UK.

If you are experiencing mental health difficulties and need to talk to someone, contact Mind or The Samaritans in the UK, or your local mental health charity/helpline.

Follow @martynjsymons

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