Violet leads mental health campaign

A woman from Higham Ferrers is leading a national campaign calling for more funding for mental health services.

Violet Skinner, 31, has shared her own experiences with NHS mental health services in a video produced by the mental health charity Mind as part of the campaign.

The campaign calls on the leaders of all political parties to commit to increasing funding for NHS mental health services by 10 per cent if they are in power after the General Election on Thursday, May 7.

About one in four people experience mental health problems each year but mental health only receives 13 per cent of the NHS budget. More than 40 per cent of people in need of talking therapies wait over three months before getting any help.

Violet has experienced first-hand the impact of inadequate funding. Diagnosed in 2008 with depression, anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder, she has at times struggled to get the treatment she needs. She said: “When I had my first crisis I rang up what was NHS direct then and I spoke to a nurse, a perfectly nice nurse, but she turned around and said ‘do you think you can manage until tomorrow because I don’t want to call out the crisis team unless I have to’.

“It’s ridiculous. If you had a physical ailment that was risking your life, like a heart attack or stroke, they wouldn’t say to you ‘do you think you can manage until tomorrow because I really don’t want to call the ambulance out’.”

The full manifesto and information about Mind’s general election campaign is at www.mind.org.uk/election2015.