Letter: Thanks for the Middy coverage

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Congratulations to the Middy for giving mental health matters such good recent prominence (9.10.2014 and 6.11.2014).

This is not an easy subject but one which society has to address if it is to be regarded as humane and caring. When a local paper reports, in a quality fashion, on mental health service provision and how mental illness affects the individual, then it is to be congratulated for espousing a cause which is distant from many people’s hearts. Well done and thank you to the Middy.

Philip Forsyth’s story (9.10.2014) was so informative and touching. He, and reporter Oli Gross, brought out extremely well the daily living issues which are such an integral part of living with a major mental illness such as biploar/manic depression , depression itself or schizophrenia.

In such circumstances it is difficult to digest the news in the following week’s paper (6.11.2014), again given good prominence , when reporter Olivia Lerche summarised so well the issues surrounding comprehensive care - or rather the lack of it - within the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust with whom lies the responsibilty for mental illness treatment provision. Is the Sussex Partnership Trust listening to the users and the professionals who use and staff the service? Sadly, it appears not.

Prior to the last general election promises were made that psychiatric treatment would enjoy parity of funding with physical illness by 2015 but the politicians appear to have failed. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, promised at the Lib Dem’s delegate conference in Glasgow this year that the Coalition policy was a crucial step to ensure mental health problems were treated as seriously as physical ones. Quicker access to the talk therapies is an essential element in dealing with psychiatric problems but this requires additional funding. Parity of funding is now promised again but will it ever become a reality?

Joe Hughes,

Highland Road