Depression: The Mental Health Services

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Mental illness or mental conditions refers to the wide range of psychiatric disorders that affects an individual’s behaviour, mood, and thinking (Kimberly Holland, 2018). According to (Westerhof, Keyes, 2010), mental illness is a term that encompasses a wide range of conditions that can affect the way a person feels and thinks. The mental illness is likely to be influenced by various factors, including environment, genetics, daily habits, and biology. Currently, there are many types of mental illness. Mental illness refers to a psychological pattern or behavior that causes significant impairment or distress of personal functioning. ( Bolton , 2008). These disorders can be relapsing and remitting, persistent, or even occur like an episode.

According to (World Health Organization, 2017), there are almost 300 different mental conditions that are DSM-5 list. Common mental illnesses include depression that have affected about two-hundred and sixty four million people, the bipolar disorder, that have affected about forty-five million individuals, the dementia disorders which have affected about fifty million individuals, and schizophrenia, which have already affected about twenty million individuals across the globe. The leading causes of mental illness are often not clear. Various theories incorporate findings from multiple fields. Mental illness is usually defined by the combination of individual thoughts, behaviors, perceptions, or feelings. This can be associated with specific functions or regions of the human brain. This paper discusses depression as one of the mental health condition. It critically evaluates how the service users are supported in their recovery and treatment processes by, private organization providers, mental health services and the voluntary support organizations in the United Kingdom (U.K.).Depression is one of the prevalent mental conditions and leads in causing of the disability across the world (World health organization, 2019). Across the globe, there is an estimate that the depression victims are 264 million. Generally, females are more affected as compared to males. Depression is mostly characterized by an individual’s loss of pleasure, continuous sadness, individual’s low self-esteem, guilt, disturbed appetite or sleep, poor concentration, and tiredness. The people suffering from depression are likely to have various physical complaints that lack apparent physical cause. Depression can be recurrent or long-lasting, and it usually impairs the ability of different individuals to function at school or work or cope with their daily life activities. When depression becomes severe, it can lead to suicide (Oliffe, Ogrodniczuk, Bottorff, Johnson, Hoyak, 2012). The U.K. is one of the countries where depression has affected many individuals. In the U.K., depression affects one person in ten persons during their lifetime. About three million persons are diagnosed with depression in U.K. Statistics also show that four per-cent of the children in the U.K. are depressed or anxious. There are more than 6000 suicides annually in the U.K. About 9.8 million working days are lost in the U.K. because of depression. Various prevention programs have indicated the reduction of depression for both adults and children. Examples of prevention programs include the psychological and protection support following sexual and physical abuse.

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Discussion of Findings

The Mental Health Services

Most of the U.K.’s mental health services are provided by the U.K. National Health Services (NHS). These mental health services are usually free on the UK NHS, but in some situations, there is a requirement from the referral from the patient’s G.P. to access them. These services includes the following:

  1. Counseling services. In NHS, the depression patients are offered a single counseling session or a short course that comprises series of counseling sessions over few weeks or probably months or even longer courses that can take up to several months or years.
  2. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) services. This refers to the type of brain stimulation that is more invasive. It is usually recommended for severe depression, and it is performed when all other treatment options have failed to work. During the ECT services, an electric current that is carefully calculated is passed to the patient’s brain through the head electrodes. The current stimulates the brain and triggers seizures, which helps relieve the depression symptoms.
  3. Educating the members of the public on the best approaches and practices of avoiding suffering from depression.
  4. Training the medical staff services that gain adequate and sufficient knowledge to treat depression in the U.K. The NHS is one of the best institutions for training the medical staff in the U.K.
  5. Offering free therapies talks to people suffering from depression.

The Support Services users Receive form Mental Health Services from the Third Sector in the U.K.

According to (Mental health U.K., 2020), when it comes to providing support to the people suffering from depression, the third sector is used to bridge the gap between the U.K. local communities and the commissioner. The roles of voluntary community organizations in providing support to individuals with a mental health condition are established well. Even if the NHS is the U.K.’s largest healthcare provider, there are usually other services support options that can help U.K. citizens to cope with mental health disorders. They include different third sector (voluntary or charity) and community organizations such as the counseling centers, local minds, community organizations, and the university counseling services for the university and college students. The mental health U.K. comprises of four national mental health charities that perform various activities across the country. These charity organizations use their experience to improve the lives of mentally ill individuals. The vital funds raised by the mental health U.K. from both corporate and individual partnerships are used to continue to grow and provide their services. The charity organizations include: Rethink mental illness, Scotland’s the support in mind, the mindwise health charity located in Northern Ireland, and Hafal that is located Wales. Hafal is a charity for people with mental illness and their carers in Wales (Mental health U.K., 2020).

In the voluntary sector, these types of services are usually free of charges or have low costs. The voluntary sector offers a wide range of support, including:

  • The CoolTan Arts organization based in Southwark promotes positive mental health and functions to transform people’s lives through self-advocacy, creativity, and volunteer opportunities. It also reduces the overreliance of the NHS statutory services.
  • Restore charity organizations in Oxfordshire assist individuals suffering from depression and other mental health disorders to get paid employment or voluntary work. This is because 80% of the users suffer a recurrent and severe mental illness that makes them unable to get a job or continue working.
  • Supporting individuals with learning difficulties, long-term conditions.
  • Supporting the carers
  • Educating the members of the public on the best ways of preventing suffering from depression
  • Providing support to lonely people through befriending.
  • Provision of health initiatives and community food, patient transport, and the schemes for the volunteer driver.
  • Provision of the housing, accommodation, and tenancy support to depressed individuals.
  • Provision of shopping services to the people suffering from depression and other mental disorders.
  • The provisions of the adaptation and the aid, repair schemes, and care.
  • One-to-one coaching and training and the development of recovery groups which assist the service users in being able to develop various personal goals and make plans for achieving them.
  • Offering free talking therapies to people with depression, thus help them recover.  According to (NHS), talking therapies refers to the psychological treatments for emotional and mental disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety. There are various types of talking therapies, but all of them involve working with trained therapists. The talking therapies can be held one-on-one, online through a computer or a phone, within the depression victim’s family, with the patient’s partner or even in a group. The therapists help the depression victim to find various answers to the problems that the victim is likely to have. The depression victims can directly get free psychological therapy services.
  • Provision of peer support or the support groups for the individuals suffering from depression.
  • The advocacy services. Advocacy is used as an essential means of raising awareness on the issues of depression disorders and also other mental health disorders. It also ensures that mental health is on the U.K.’s government national agenda. Advocacy is essential since it can lead to improved legislation, development of services, and legislation. The third sector organizations have the mental health advocate, who listens to the concerns and views of the individuals suffering from depression, then explores the rights and options and provide the assistive information to the depression victims that help them make informed decisions. (Rycroft-Malone, Anderson, Crane, Gibson, Gradinger, Griffiths, Mercer, Kuyken, 2014). This voluntary sector contributes the depression victim contact the relevant people or even contacts these people on behalf of the depression victim. This helps the depression individuals to be capable of asking for help from different individuals since; if they cannot be able to contact them, then the voluntary sector organizations do it on their behalf. The mental health advocates from the sector also accompany the depression victims and support them in their appointments and meetings.
  • The art therapies. Art therapies refer to the application of the art approaches to treat depression and enhancing mental health. Art therapy is a therapeutic method rooted in the idea that creates an expression that can foster the psychological well-being and healing of depression problems. The art therapists use this art to help depression patients cope with mental and emotional health problems and express their feelings and emotions.
  • Giving advice services.
  • Giving alternative and complementary therapies
  • Provision of online services through forums such as live chat
  • Conducting social activities such as sports and entertainment programs.

Most of the third sector services in the U.K. do not give diagnosis services to the patients. They also don’t provide medical services such as psychiatry, and they do not prescribe medication.

The Support Services users Receive from Private Organizations

According to (Pybis, Saxon, Hill, Barkham, 2017), many people suffering from depression and other mental disorders are not capable of affording the private sector mental health services because of the higher financial costs compared to mental health services. Despite these high costs incurred during the getting of their services, there are various reasons why many depressed individuals seek mental health services from the private sector in the U.K. They include:

  • When the patient is not receiving the support services, he or she needs from the NHS GP.
  • When the patient seeks an alternative opinion, and the NHS GP is not providing it.
  • When the patient wants to access the support services more quickly, for example, if there is a long talking therapy, waiting lists in the NHS of the patient’s residential area.
  • When the patient is searching for specialist depression treatment or a variety of treatment providers and choices.
  • When the patient needs intensive treatment support or support that requires a longer period.
  • When the patient is looking for the treatment that is usually not available through the NHS.
  • When the patient wishes to attend a private clinic or hospital.

Private organizations in the U.K. offer the following services:

  1. Online healthcare services. Most private mental health organizations provide online services where the patient can talk and consult the registered therapist or G.P. over a video chat or ask various questions through text message services. This option is mostly considered if the patient finds it difficult or to attend the appointments. It is usually less expensive as compared to other services.
  2. Finding private therapists and counsellors. These health organizations help the depression patient to find a therapist. For example, Association for Psychotherapy and Counseling. (BACP). All the therapists found in the BACP’s website usually have registered to the BACP’s ethical framework.
  3. The provision of voluntary health insurance. In 2015, 10.5 % of the U.K.’s population had private voluntary health insurance, with about 4 million policies being held at the beginning of 2015. Some of these private health insurance policies cover individuals against depression and other mental disorders. Employers provide some of the insurance. The insurance covers part or all costs of the patient’s treatment or pre-existing conditions.
  4. The home visits by the community-based nurses. Some private mental care services nurses who are community-based visit their client’s homes and treat them at their homes as opposed to the NHS services.
  5. Conducting social activities such as sports and entertainment programs.
  6. Tailored plans for treatment. The private sector psychiatrists design a treatment plan across the patient’s specific needs. This includes the medication option, the follow-up appointments, and the ongoing therapy referral.


Depression is one of the most popular mental disorders and one of the major causes of disability. Depression is usually characterized by loss of interest, feelings of low self-worth, guilt, and loss of pleasure or interest. Depression is usually recurrent or long-lasting, and it impairs an individual’s ability to perform various tasks or even cope with daily activities. The U.K. is one of the countries where depression has affected several individuals. In the U.K., most of the mental health services are performed by the National Health Service (NHS). However, there exists the voluntary community organizations and private sector providers who provide the services that NHS cannot provide to the U.K. residents


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