When is an emergency not an emergency? When it’s a mental health ’emergency’

1 Jan

Mental health ’emergencies’

In which an otherwise shocking story about the numbers of people in mental health crisis being treated in A&E reaching record proportions – 1 million in 2014 – is overshadowed by the use of rogue apostrophies indicating a mental health emergency isn’t a real emergency. And then the headline was edited to refer to admissions instead. From ’emergencies’ to admissions.

And here are my tweets on the story itself – which highlights serious concerns (as do the comments underneath the story).

Themes:

– Failure demand spilling into A&E as it does every year, especially in winter, bringing increased calls to “choose wisely” and stay away from A&E: but that’s where mental health patients are told they must go in a crisis, because no other services are commissioned.

– Emergency doctors distancing themselves from caring for mental health patients (one is quoted in the article as saying neither police stations nor A&E is suitable – given a choice of the two, a hospital bed, even a hospital waiting room, is better than a police cell).

– The stigma and discrimination around mental health problems meaning they aren’t viewed as real illnesses (even many psychologists refer to the “idea of illness”, as if the brain were somehow immune from becoming unwell, unlike any other part of the body) encapsulated in the Guardian article’s use of apostrophes around mental health ’emergencies’.

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(I’m attempting to get over my ongoing difficulty with writing blog posts by returning to my twitter roots – twitter is, after all, a micro-blogging site. I hope to later write the tweets up into a blog post but, in the meantime, here are the tweets.)

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One Response to “When is an emergency not an emergency? When it’s a mental health ’emergency’”

  1. georgielizabeth 1 February 2015 at 7:51 pm #

    “Have a bath” = the majority of crisis ‘care’ offered it seems *angry face*

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