According to NEPHO.CO.UK ‘At any one time, roughly one in six of us is experiencing a mental health problem. Mental health problems are also estimated to cost the economy £105 billion per year’. Therefore prevention at a local level is key. However the statistics for improving access to psychological therapies within the East Sussex area are significantly worse than the national average. England saw an almost 44% improvement, whilst East Sussex saw just a 35% improvement.
Holly is a student who recently moved to Hastings to study with the University of Brighton. Holly was receiving psychological help as part of her treatment for depression and severe anxiety at home, however she is finding it hard to find the same support in Hastings. “For someone like me it’s easy to often feel like everything is becoming too much as it is, the last thing I need is extra pressure and stress when I’m trying to be proactive and find help for myself. Back at home I was lucky enough to have my friends as family to help and support me. I definitely noticed a difference in terms of mental health care from the moment I moved south to Hastings. I knew it was going to be a tough transition, as it is for most first year university students being away from home for the first time but with no support it’s unbearable.”
East Sussex charities in the Hastings area specifically are feeling the strain. Both Young Minds and Together-uk stated there was a strain on small mental health organisations. Policy Communications Officer for YoungMinds, Jenifer Philips, outlined the struggle as a small mental health organisation, stating that they are held back due to ‘very limited resources’.
There were 252 hospital admissions for mental health issues in East Sussex alone in 2012, which is a figure that is on the rise due to lack of access to psychological help and prevention schemes or agencies in the area.