The lack of acute beds available to mental health patients has left the system at breaking point, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has said.
Illustrating the scale of the problem, the college said it understood that on one occasion last year there were no beds available for adults in England. It called for action to tackle the problem.
The college president, Simon Wessely, said: “There is mounting evidence – such as the doubling of the number of patients having to be sent out-of-area for care between 2011/12-2013/14 – that there are simply not enough mental health beds available in some areas.
Young people’s mental health services across the UK are in dire straits.
A recent report by the Royal College of Nursing showed that government spending cuts have led to the loss of more than 3,300 mental health posts over the last four years and 1,500 fewer beds than in 2010.
A report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) revealed worrying increases in the number of young people being treated in adult psychiatric wards.
All the self-care in the world won’t prevent burnout unless mental health workers stop trying to be superhuman and accept their vulnerabilities, an Australian researcher told Community Care.
Marieke Ledingham, a lecturer in counselling at the University of Notre-Dame, Australia, conducted research with 55 mental health workers to find out why they were suffering burnout in such large numbers, despite understanding its causes.
Less than two years ago, 50-year-old David tried to take his own life in a council house in Salford. You can still see the scars when he stretches out his arm to light a roll-up cigarette.
“Everything just builds up after a while. I was walking around thinking where I was going to get money from, what [was] I going to do about the kids, how was I going to survive?” says David, as his two daughters sit quietly next to him on the sofa. “I’ve been through the bins and all sorts, trying to make ends meet. I’m not proud of it, but needs must at times.”
A Tory councillor has provoked a Twitter backlash after claiming that food banks are only visited by “those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems”.
Mark Winn, who is also a civil servant with the Ministry of Defence and until recently held an appointment on Buckinghamshire council’s health scrutiny committee, hit out at what he called “the BBC doing Labour’s bidding” after watching an episode of Casualty on Saturday night.
NICK Clegg is asking people to nominate their mental health “heroes”.
The Deputy Prime Minister wants to hear about anyone from health professionals to friends and neighbours who have helped those with mental health conditions.
Mr Clegg, the Sheffield Hallam MP, said: “It could be the woman sitting next to you on the bus, the dad picking his child up at the school gates or a colleague from work – everyone knows someone living with a mental health problem.
In a nationwide survey 54 per cent of head teachers complained that local mental healthservices were ineffective in supporting the needs of pupils.
Nearly half the heads (47 per cent) said their increasing workloads were affecting their ability to identify pupils’ mental health difficulties at a time when such problems are on the rise in schools.
The survey, by the CentreForum Mental Health Commission also found that one in 10 schools still had no mental health and wellbeing training available for staff, in spite of Government pledges, and 65 per cent were not even assessing the mental health needs of their pupils.
The report comes at a time when emotional and behaviour problems among younger children are increasing because of higher divorce rates, financial pressures at home and the growing influence of social media.