By David Saunders | UPDATED: 08:28, 17 December 2019
In the minds of many, the culmination of the general election this past week after months of campaigning, party political broadcasts and election pledges, has taken us one step closer to “getting Brexit done” and finding some stability in government. Others believe that the election was merely a formality and doesn’t bring us any closer to solving the problem.
However, regardless of one’s political allegiances in the wake of the election, one thing is clear; the UK’s mental health is suffering. The constant ambiguity and negativity around Brexit, not to mention three general elections in the last four years, has unquestionably contributed to the declining mental health of the UK.
Earlier this year, a survey by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that 4 in 10 of us have experienced feelings of powerlessness, anger and anxiety as a direct result of Brexit, while the SACP reported that one in three Brits claim that the constant onslaught of political jabbering in the news has negatively affected their mental health. One in eight of us reported problems with our sleep pegged to our protracted extrication from the European Union, and one in five of us say the whole process has caused high levels of stress.
This coincides with research by mental health treatment experts Smart TMS, which displays an overarching decline in the mental health of the UK. Their independent research has revealed that 1 in 4 Brits find themselves regularly cancelling plans so they don’t have to interact with other people, 1 in 4 Brits find basic functions (e.g. sleeping, showering) noticeably more difficult than they used to, and 17% of Brits now find that casual drinking regularly turns into binge drinking.
Gerard Barnes, CEO of Smart TMS, takes this opportunity to highlight the importance of changing attitudes towards mental health in the UK, and calls for action to provide more treatment options for the 17million of us suffering from psychological problems:
“The constant coverage of the political volatility and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and more recently the election, has occupied space in our minds for years, and has caused a huge proportion of the UK to suffer from increased levels of stress, anxiety, and exacerbated depression.
While the trajectory of our politics cannot be avoided, it is of paramount importance that we examine and explore various methods of mental health treatment to ensure that that the UK’s citizens have the support they need to deal with such events.
Treatment options such as TMS treatment, which are non-invasive and non-medicinal, are particularly effective as they minimise the potential for side effects and remove the potential of any drug-induced negative symptoms.
If we can provide these treatments on a larger scale, it could revolutionise the approach to mental health treatment in this country and provide much-needed relief for millions of people struggling on a daily basis with a range of psychological issues.”