By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 10:42, 03 December 2019
Tuesday 3rd December sees the arrival of International Day of People with Disabilities, a UN sanctioned event observed the world over. The day was introduced to identify and break down the social barriers preventing disabled people from accessing equal social and professional opportunities, and to highlight the wealth of skills and talents that disabled people can contribute at work and in wider society.
However, despite events such as IDPWD bringing more awareness to the issues faced by the disabled, there is a growing crisis in the UK which sees those with health impairments and mental health challenges facing extreme difficulties.
There are now an estimated 13 million people living with disabilities in the UK, and according to a recent study by Mind, the mental health charity, around 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year in the UK. Given that between 25-40% of people with disabilities experience some psychological problems as a direct result of their condition, it is fair to say that the communities share a great deal of common ground.
In the run up to the Election this month, all parties have made seemingly considerable pledges in an effort to tackle the mental health epidemic and disability across Britain, but while increased provisions and additional funds will be welcomed by the disabled community and those suffering with psychological issues, the problem cannot be solved with money alone.
Smart TMS is the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of TMS therapy; an effective non-invasive and non-medicinal treatment for a host of mental health problems; since 2015, with impressive results. Smart TMS’ London clinic recently treated Sassy Wyatt, a disability blogger and equality advocate who has suffered from total blindness since her teenage years, as well as crippling anxiety as a result of her condition. She had an incredible experience with TMS therapy, and has since experienced overwhelming relief of her anxiety symptoms.
Gerard Barnes, CEO of Smart TMS, believes that a fundamental change in our approach to disability and mental health in this country is required to make true progress in our treatment of health impairments, both mental and physical.
“It is encouraging to see that all the main parties have announced that they are setting aside considerable provisions to improve the UK’s disability and mental health services. However, while increased funding can only help the development of such services, there needs to be a shift in the way we view disability and mental health in the UK, in order to remove the stigma and provide alternative, more effective treatments.
1 in 10 psychiatrists’ positions remain vacant in the UK, and it was uncovered this year that one of Britain’s most widely prescribed antidepressants is largely ineffective at alleviating the symptoms of depression, not to mention the hosts of well-documented side effects experienced by those who have been prescribed prescription drugs to treat their condition.
It is essential that a considerable portion of the funds and provisions pledged to support these sectors in the UK are channeled towards developing and distributing better alternative options, such as TMS treatment, to combat the widespread mental health issues, rather than prescribing blanket medications or referring patients to oversubscribed psychiatrists.”