It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay. Every day needs to be World Mental Health Day. According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
When I saw the day trending on Twitter just now, I remembered a powerful email sent to me a few weeks ago by a mental health nurse whose every day is laden with decisions that affect people’s lives and futures. He explained to me the importance of music, and one song in particular, in finding the strength for some of the most difficult challenges he faces.
I am a Nurse and Registered Manager of a specialised six bed social care provision in Wrexham; we work to accept individuals who have been in long stay hospitals (often for many years) detained under the Mental Health Act. Social Services refer to us, and we then assess, and if all is ok persuade Health Services to discharge the Individual into our care. We then help them discover, and cope with, the real world the rest of us take for granted.
On our first visit to the hospital we have to be at our best. And it’s always a fight to convince the hospitals to take a risk on us being able to keep the person and the public safe outside of their fences. In the car before we go inside the last thing my colleague James and I do is put Reg’s song “They Changed Her Mind” on the CD and it fires our passion to help get the person a chance to be rehabilitated.
It is the best song I have ever heard concerning losing Mental Health, and the hopelessness of detention in a long stay hospital. It’s so accurate and so on the mark, recognising that those who steal the life of the patient, really do believe they are doing the right thing, even though some of us perceive it so drastically differently.
Just that one song would be enough to make Reg’s contribution to humanity sufficient. For it to be just one of many (and so rarely performed) shows his genius.
And that’s what it is …Genius.”
Reg laid back Priston 2017 Dave SutherlandThe song, written by Reg Meuross, is about the reopening of a mental asylum which had remained locked since the early 1960’s. When they opened it they found suitcases containing the effects and details of many inmates. When Reg learnt about it, he was shocked: “The overwhelming impression I got was that many of these people should never have been locked away in the first place.”
Take a listen and please share. Today and beyond today.
Thank you
Katie Whitehouse
For more info about Reg Meuross click HERE