Mental Illness A Forgotten Generation

February 2017

Mental Health

Country of origin: UK

At least 50,000 people with serious mental illness have been forgotten by mainstream mental health services, according to not-for-profit organisation Rethink.

This 'forgotten generation' of middle-aged clients has seen day centres that supported them close so the government could focus on crisis support, Rethink says. Its statements are based on a recent survey of over 3000 service users and summarised in Lost and Found: Voices from the Forgotten Generation, a report released recently.

The release of the report marked the launch of Rethink?s Forgotten Generation campaign to highlight the needs of these clients. The survey found that 62 percent of clients asked to name one change that would improve their quality of life named a non-medical change, such as more money, improved social relationships and an end to stigma and discrimination. Among caregivers, 51 percent are extremely concerned about what will happen to their loved one in the future.

The report makes the following recommendations:

People who are medically stable but experiencing a low quality of life should be included in government reform and local service planning.
Annual primary care checkups must be available to everyone with a severe mental illness, and should include blood pressure and weight measurements, regular dental and optical appointments, detection of diabetes, cancer and side-effects of medication.
People with mental illness should have access to holistic support, including psychological therapies, access to the best medications, choice of health professional, choice of treatment, decent accommodation, meaningful occupation and regular and sufficient income.
Long-term caregivers should be offered information, advice and support, as well as choice in continuing their caregiving role.

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