The increasingly unhinged prime minister, Theresa May, has made YET ANOTHER statement on the future of the NHS, which suggests those sunlit uplands where no one ever gets ill are just around the corner. Such is the madcap world of another bloody politician who wouldn’t have a clue to run a bath, never mind a country. Still, she’s really got a grip on mental health. She’s introducing a telephone helpline. Ring 111.
Yes, in around four years, if you get all suicidal, or perhaps you just want to self-harm, or ‘only’ have a bout of depression and anxiety, you can merely pick up the phone AND TALK TO SOMEONE. Sorry for all these capitals. IT’S DRIVING ME MAD.
When the BRITISH RED CROSS (there I go again), bullied and abused me all the way to a mental breakdown a year or so ago, if only that number had existed. I could have made a telephone call and held on for an hour or so. “If you want to top yourself, press one. If you want to cut yourself with a knife, press two. If you think you are suffering from severe clinical depression press three. If you are having a panic attack, blow into a paper bag, try and breathe slowly and listen to an inane bit of music and hold for the next available operator who will read questions from a tick sheet.” Yes, that would have helped.
You can reasonably argue that something is better than nothing and something like a 111 call is better than nothing by an infinitesimal amount. But seriously, wouldn’t it be better to spend a little of the extra money put aside for the NHS on the mentally ill, because what you are announcing here, YOU STUPID WOMAN (I’d call you stupid if you were a man, Tel), is sheer tokenism. You are not serious. This is announcing something to make it look like you are doing something. You aren’t.
You don’t have to be mad in this country, but it helps.