If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
Because mental health still battles stigma, it can slip from view.
And without people championing the care needs of those using mental health services, it can be easy for governments to regard this area as less of a priority than physical health.
The BMA board of science 2014 report on recognising the physical health of those with mental health and intellectual disability has helped raise awareness about the need for parity in this area.
Are things changing?
While there are still challenges to contend with in mental health, such as the bed crisis, there is also a growing awareness of the need to properly resource services and better understand care challenges.
I’ve worked as a psychiatrist for more than 20 years and have difficulty in recalling so much productive attention from politicians towards mental health.
For example, it’s helpful that politicians have picked up on the incredible cost associated with poor mental health and it seems emphasis is being lent to a more holistic and integrated approach to care.
We know that lost productivity can be colossal - both in days off work, but also in long term sickness, which has a negative economic impact on the population.
The BMA, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, advocacy organisations and patients’ groups have all helped to draw political attention to the under-resourcing in mental healthcare.
This is right, because it’s inevitable that those who call the loudest get the most funding.
Individuals often feel a sense of shame and won’t speak out about their mental ill health, but in order to reduce stigma, people and organisations do need to feel able to talk publicly about these issues.
Looking forward, I’m hopeful that commitments made by the last government will be kept.
Specific waiting time targets for mental health are to be introduced, more money has been pledged towards youth mental health services and psychiatry was specifically mentioned in the NHS Five Year Forward View for England.
Mental health already has good links between primary and secondary care, so the specialty is in a position to build on that.
Lately, the number of foundation posts in psychiatry has increased.
As a specialty that has struggled to recruit, this is fantastic news.
I hope that mental health continues to take the centre stage in political debates and the BMA will continue its work in making sure it does.
The association will continue to lobby for safe and effective mental health services, including the adequate provision of beds for both adults and children.
Gary Wannan is the BMA consultants' committee specialty lead for psychiatry
In a routine records check I discovered my GP practice had my name on a 'Register' for 10 years. My main occupation in the UK is in the building game and I wasn't happy.
(The doctor dealing with me previously had himself been asked to leave the practice on account of his own (Severe) Mental Health Problems)
I had a chat with another Practice doctor and demonstrated to him historical suppression of extrapyrammidal reaction and suicidal reaction to strong medication; and longterm recovery as a result of halting strong medication. He told me he would remove diagnosis, my historical Irish Record Summary and my name from the 'Register'.
In a subsequent interview my Irish Record popped up on the screen, and I made complaints. The Practice then turned nasty attempting to put the 'illness' on to me.
I complained to the Ombudsman and got a fairly mild response.
I complained to the General Medical Council and they approved the doctor lying about record removal; the attempts at illness promotion ; the absence of any Register Care Plan; the lack of informed consent; and the fact that the Practise had allowed me to work on building sites while claiming SMI (status on my behalf).
I asked the NHS for funding to see my own professionals to record my recovery through psychotherapy and the Nhs claimed that this would have to be done by me privately (in 30 years in the uk I have never claimed sickness or disability benifit and have ever been disabled i.e. I haven't cost anything).
It's still going round in circles. ... !