Today, 13th June, Kathy Bailes in The Isle Of Thanet News covered the tragic story of Ben Stone and his brother, Lee Thrumble. Both local men were victims of suicide, the rates for which are higher for men in Kent than elsewhere in the country.
The story highlights the problems of accessing mental health services through the NHS in Thanet and points out the dwindling resources available for our locality.
Although there are some superb organisations such as The Samaritans and Release The Pressure who can provide a voice at the end of the phone, access to treatment is woefully inadequate. The news article says Mr Stone had been attempting to get help from mental health services but had been turned away due to waiting lists.
I have recently written to Caroline Selkirk, Managing Director of Kent’s four clinical commissioning groups and a meeting is being arranged to discuss the provision of mental health services in Thanet.
If you have concerns or an experience that illustrates the current state of the service and you wish me to share these at the meeting, please do get in touch. You can email email@example.com or call me on 07984 532212.
Update: Sign the petition
There is now a 38 Degrees petition calling for urgent improvements to the provision of mental health services in Thanet. This will be delivered to Dr Jihad Malasi Chair of Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group.
Local mental health services community resources
Live Well Kent
Live Well Kent is a free service for anyone over 17 and aims to improve your mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is delivered on behalf of Kent County Council and the NHS by the charities, Porchlight and Shaw Trust.
Release the Pressure
Release the Pressure campaign urges people to seek help by calling 0800 107 0160 for free, where support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, throughout the year.
Call 116 123 for free from any phone day or night, 365 days a year.