There are a number of walk-in clinics located all around the UK that are there to treat physical medical ailments that may not be life threatening but do require immediate attention. This brilliant concept enables patients to receive x-rays, blood tests, treatment and medication promptly and from the correct medical professionals.
As mental illnesses continue to plague a quarter of the UK’s population, many have started to question why such facilities don’t exist for those who are suffering with the likes of depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar, post-natal depression, eating disorders and drug and alcohol addictions.
Currently, anyone dealing with a mental health crisis faces a potentially long wait to see their GP and then to actually receive treatment - unless they state that they are feeling suicidal or homicidal. Worryingly, some concerned youth workers have admitted to coaching their patients to say exactly this because they know it’s the only way their client will get access to immediate psychiatric care.
A combination of lengthy waiting times, misconceptions about mental illnesses and a fear of admitting the truth means that unfortunately, most people’s first contact with the mental health system doesn’t come until they really are in a crisis.
We are actively encouraged to keep our physical health in check as it promotes a happier and healthier lifestyle and also keeps healthcare costs down. Nobody seems to be promoting the services that can help keep our mental health in check and prevent it from reaching a state of crisis in the first place however. Perhaps this is because such services don’t exist in the first place.
Do you think the UK could benefit from walk-in clinics that are designed to help identify and treat mental illnesses? Could it help to break the mental health taboo once and for all and are people more likely to seek help if they know it’s more easily available? Why not join in the debate on our Facebook page and share your thoughts with us?