While it is important not to dismiss the role medication has in managing mental health it is striking the amount of clients who contact us upset at being prescribed medication without any structured form of assessment.
Many of these clients are upset they are being put on medication first instead of getting offered counselling or alternative supports. In many of these cases NICE guidelines actually concur with these client’s views by highlighting that medication should not be the first step in terms of recommended best practice.
We also get a lot of enquiries from those trying to come off medication struggling to find resources beyond their GP appointment. The below article demonstrates the disparity in investment between medication & counselling in primary care. It is also worth noting that counselling in primary care (CIPC) is only available on a short term basis to medical card holders leaving many clients struggling with the costs of private therapy generally not covered by private health insurers.
The increase in discussion and awareness about mental health is very welcome but there is a long way to go in terms of seeing the same level of improvement in actual services, supports and resources for clients outside medication.
Many clients present for counselling because of “stress” and its associated links to anxiety, depression and relationship problems.
November 1st was National Stress Awareness Day and the below article from the BBC tries to break down simply what stress is.
Adrenaline is a hormone many people are familiar with but cortisol is often less in the public awareness.
This week saw the publication of the Thriving at Work Report in the United Kingdom.
The report reveals the extent of the human cost of poor mental health at work and the impacts on society, the economy and the government.
It also provides a set of six core standards for employers to adopt and implement to support mental health in the workplace. These standards include imperatives to
- Build mental health awareness by making information and support accessible
- Encourage open conversations
- Provide good working conditions and ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance
- Promote effective people management, with line managers holding regular conversations about health and well-being with their staff
- Routinely monitor employee mental health
A similar report in an Irish context would be interesting as the same issues ravage Irish workers on a daily basis across both public and private sectors.
Professor Jim Lucey and others contribute to an Irish Times article exploring the topic of modern talk therapies (and mental health) in an Irish context.
Misconceptions, confusion, difficulties with access and stigma seem to be still big issues in Ireland when examining the topic of modern Irish Psychotherapy.
An article from the Guardian exploring potential research into a new pharmaceutical treatment for severe depression. Ketamine has been used previously as a tranquillizer (often in veterinary medicine) and also has a reputation as a recreational drug.