British economic crisis and mental health


This video is called Naomi Klein: Disaster Capitalism.

Tuesday 14 April 2009; by John Millington in Britain:

Recession ‘to blame’ for mental health crisis

CAMPAIGNERS and health unions put pressure on the government on Tuesday to increase investment in mental health provision following stark warnings of a huge increase in anxiety levels.

A scathing report by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) attributed the rise to the recession and draconian surveillance measures such as increased CCTV and counterterrorism initiatives.

A poll of 2,246 people found that 77 per cent of respondents believed the world had become a more dangerous place and that 37 per cent felt “more frightened and anxious.”

When asked about the financial crisis, a huge 66 per cent said that they experienced “fear or anxiety” about the future.

Anxiety UK, the largest anxiety disorders charity, revealed that it had received double its normal number of calls in the first two months of the year.

The report, titled In the Face of Fear, noted that “social policy aimed at controlling risk and quelling fear often seems to increase it.”

The MHF called for a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of mental health problems and urged people to seek help from their GP.

Health union UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis blamed the recession and funding cuts in mental health services for the rise in anxiety levels.

“Mental health services, already under pressure, will be stretched even further in the months to come,” he said.

“Together with other essential services provided by the public sector, mental health services are the first line of defence for communities and families against the worst effects of the credit crunch.

“The recession inevitably takes a toll on public health and to making funding cuts now would be madness,” Mr Prentis warned.

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths went further and suggested that only “a fundamental reorganisation of society” would begin to deal with the root causes of depression and anxiety.

“We have seen working people subject to mass redundancies, home repossessions and job insecurity. “Millions of people have become dependent on drugs just trying to get by day to day.

“Recent developments have shown that capitalism is a system of crisis and prospective ruin, which is driving many people into depression,” he added.

Echoing sentiments expressed in the People’s Charter for Change, Mr Griffiths concluded: “Only a fundamental reorganisation of society on the basis of social justice and security and solidarity can begin to produce a better and healthier life for everyone.”

See also here.

In 2008, Knight Frank, a property consultancy for the obscenely rich, and Citi Private Bank, which described itself as “market leaders in wealth management,” produced what they described as an “annual wealth report”: here.

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