We’ve talked about depression and mental illnesses and the way that they affect us and the world around us. There has been a great increase in awareness in recent years regarding mental problems and how to help those who suffer from them. Sadly, many people still don’t receive proper treatment, or they to go through a medical system that just gives them drugs that supposedly will help them and then sends them on their way without caring about how the patient is able to cope on a daily basis.
That’s where Healthy Minds comes in.
This foundation started out as a social experiment to support people suffering from mental illnesses. Healthy Minds was originally conceived by David Clark, a professor of Psychology at Oxford University, and Richard Layard, an economist and member of the House of Lords. Healthy Minds began offering patients the chance to go through both face-to-face and phone therapy sessions without having to go through the embarrassment of going to a doctor or having to wait a long time for treatment.
Healthy Minds aims to give patients a more personal experience, with someone that they can talk to and can honestly help them by telling them what they can do. It manages this by setting up a process in which would-be patients can call their offices and ask for professional help. Upon request, patients then go through a semi-scripted interview where they’ll rule out what the patient is suffering from and decide on whether they should receive face-to-face therapy or phone therapy sessions.
Since their start in 2008, Healthy Minds efforts have been very noticeable, establishing offices all over Britain and allowing people from all walks of life to come or call them to receive the help they need.
Patients who undergo treatment are taken through different steps (depending on what they’re suffering from) with most of them going through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, in which their fears and issues are analysed, and they have to face the things that cause them stress. Patients then have to record their progress via a weekly questionnaire, which will decide if they should continue their therapy or not.
Healthy Minds’ approach is one that reflects the current state of mental illness in society. Now that people understand what mental health is, a lot more hospitals and countries are putting their focus on finding ways to give patients the help they need. This has led to improvements in a lot of people’s lives and taught others more about mental issues.
Of course, this type of approach isn’t without its problems, and even Healthy Minds faces quite a few of those. A lot of doctors find problems with this method of medical attention, chief among them being that while patients are taking more strides in trying to find help, they prefer to do it through these services rather than through general practitioners, who are supposed to know more about how mental problems work and how to treat them.
Another big issue that could be faced with this approach is a lack of experienced psychiatrists and personnel to help patients. Even with Healthy Minds, there are so many patients that some aren’t able to get the amount of time they need for therapy, while others can’t receive it at all due to the lack of therapists.
Thankfully, there’s a lot of effort being put into expanding upon these ideas to allow other forms of therapy that are both cost effective and can give patients the time and help they need.
One such thing is online therapy, which Healthy Mind itself is trying out, where patients can talk to therapists online and receive the care they require without having to go to them, especially if they live far away, this also lifts the burden on therapists as well.
Hopefully, these efforts do excellent work in bettering not just the treatments but also the experiences that people face. There is already an increase in satisfied patients who have been able to treat and improve their condition.
It’s heartening to hear about this considering a recent event and the fact that this is also a year dedicated to learning more and treating depression.
Photo Credits: Emaze, The Indian Express, Good Therapy