Donations Begin To Come In!

Well, this is my first blog since my website went live on Monday and the response has been amazing!  Thank you so much to all of those who sent me messages of support.  It means a great deal to me to know that people are on my side!  Incredibly, I have already had donations to my charity, Off The Record, and I thank you so much for having the faith in me to have already chosen to do this!  One or two of them have come from unexpected sources which has given me an enormous lift psychologically and makes their donation all the more special!

I am delighted to say that my first sponsor, Highcroft Veterinary Group, have donated £100.  Thank you so much, it means a lot to me as my and Helen’s chihuahua, Mabel, helped to keep me calm when I was having a particularly bad day.  It has been said that stroking a pet has a positive effect on stress, and I can say without doubt that it really helped me.  You should try it!

I have had some lovely messages wishing me luck and asking if there is anything they can do to help.  Again, these have given me a huge boost.

Before I leave you, I came across the article below on the BBC News website written by their Health correspondent, Nick Triggle, which reinforces what I have said about the lack of resources and the long waiting lists for those suffering with mental health issues.  I really hope that what I am doing will help to raise awareness of this, and that the money I raise will enable my charity to help even more young people.

“People who need urgent mental health care in England are receiving inadequate support, regulators say. The Care Quality Commission reviewed the help given to people in mental health crisis, which includes people who are suicidal, having serious panic attacks or psychotic episodes. The regulator said the system was “struggling to cope”. Its report also highlighted what it described as a “lack of compassion” from A&E staff. The CQC carried out its investigation following the signing of a Crisis Care Concordat between the government and the sector last year which promised round-the-clock support to those who needed it. This includes help from dedicated mental health staff, intensive support at home or telephone advice.

But the review – based on surveys of patients, analysis of national data and inspections of services – found that 42% of patients did not get the help they needed. Patients were also asked about the attitudes of staff towards them. Staff working for charities and volunteers received the most positive ratings, while staff in A&E received the worstJust over a third of patients who ended up in A&E thought they had been treated with compassion and warmth, and a similar proportion said their concerns had been taken seriously.The dedicated crisis-resolution teams that are there to help those in trouble did little better, with fewer than half answering positively to each question. The report also highlighted the experiences of a number of patients. One said: “It was approximately seven hours before I got crisis support and that was only a call not a visit, which would have been more useful. “As my crisis worsened, I took a small overdose as I was not coping or getting any immediate help.”

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s mental health lead, said while there were some excellent examples of care, the findings must “act as a wake-up call”. Worryingly many people told us that when they were having a crisis they often felt the police and ambulance crews were more caring and took their concerns more seriously than the medical and mental health professionals they encountered.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said: “The report will not come as a surprise to anyone who has found themselves in crisis or who is involved in supporting people when they are at their most unwell. “We take for granted that when we have a physical health emergency we will get the help we need urgently. It should be no different for mental health.”

Care Minister Alistair Burt said the government was trying to tackle the problems in mental health with its new treatment targets and extra funding that were both announced before the election. “Improving mental health care is my priority,” he added.

Last year 1.8m people sought help for a mental health crisis.”

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