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A dignified response

Keeping mental health support in the picture

Keeping mental health support in the picture

There has been a steady growing awareness for the need for increased mental health support in the UK.

Despite pressure from high-profile campaigners, funding continues to be stretched thinly and the stigma attached to mental health illnesses can be poisonous.

We spoke to Dr Krishnan Satkunam, MD and founder of Krinvest Care Group about the ongoing battle to give people with mental health problems the support they need and the respect they deserve from providers, politicians, the public and themselves.

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

We need to erode the taboo of speaking about mental health; it shouldn’t be an uncomfortable subject for anyone

Dr Krishnan Satkunam

Undeniably, stigma denies people with mental health problems the opportunity to live their lives to the full.

“It’s a shame that we still have to talk about stigma, but I do believe that public attitudes are changing for the better.

“We can’t stop here. Mental health policies and support need to stay at the foreground of the Government’s agenda, and campaigning charities such as Mind are continuing to apply pressure to an under-funded sector within health services to ensure people do not have to fire fight alone – and we need to support them.”

Stigma is not simply the public’s attitude to mental health, but also includes self-stigma: the prejudice whereby people with mental illness turn against themselves.

Krishnan comments that whilst public stigma prevents people from speaking to friends and family, self-stigma prevents individuals from seeking professional help.

“We need to erode the taboo of speaking about mental health; it shouldn’t be an uncomfortable subject for anyone. Most of us would agree, that they would be upset to hear of a loved one who was suffering in silence and we need to create a safe environment for people to feel empowered to seek appropriate help and recognise when they are struggling.”

Dignity first

Krinvest have opened a brand new service in Warrington which will provide support for up to 16 people at any one time. The service is a welcoming environment, and provides rehabilitation for those people who are in the earliest stages of recovery.

Krinvest Warrington

The Warrington service taking shape

This new service will be warmly received; especially as nationwide, local authority spending on mental health services has decreased by 13.2%.

Krishnan feels that services like these can never be undervalued: “Despite continuing budget cuts it’s essential that support is always accessible, which doesn’t negotiate the quality of care.

The way we respect our patients stretches beyond the medical care we provide. This can be a confusing and challenging experience for the people we are trying to help, and treating them with dignity is paramount.”

Similar to stigma when speaking about mental health, dignity is a hot topic which expands to the entire social care sector, where Krinvest also offers learning disability and dementia support.

The sector has been criticised in recent years because of safeguarding failures, and much attention has been given to rising abuse claims.

Krishnan feels that the struggle for providers to bridge the gap between funding and profits, has meant that dignity has been compromised in some horrifying, yet exceptional cases.

“More often than not, providers are delivering excellent care – but it’s important to keep reminding ourselves, families, the public and policy makers that our values should never be conceded in favour of profits.

We need private health/social care organisations to be successful to ensure that help is available and needs are met, but abusing the trust people have will damage our entire sector.

“As a trained doctor, I spent much of my time learning first hand about patient care in practice – and that experience has meant that I understand what kindness and compassion achieves in helping people recover. Everyone who works for Krinvest has those values ingrained, as are the foundations of positive support. It’s intrinsic.”

it’s important to keep reminding ourselves, families, the public and policy makers that our values should never be conceded in favour of profits.

Dr Krishnan Satkunam

 

Help is available

It is this desire to provide outstanding care which drives Krishnan, and despite the growing health needs of a nation, he is optimistic about the future when it comes to helping people get the support they need.

“I accept that there will always be challenges: the increased numbers of people who need care and support, the increased complexity of their needs, lack of funding support…etc.

“Our challenge as a provider is to keep compassion and empathy central to everything we do, and continue to find innovative ways to provide superior personalised care. It’s why we all started working in the care profession; to remind people that they are not alone, and that we are there to help.”

“We all have a duty to keep mental health issues topical, and keep encouraging an open dialogue. Mind estimates that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, which is something we can no longer afford to stay quiet about.”

 

Project CV:
Krinvest
Dr Krishnan Satkunam Krinvest

Dr Krishnan Satkunam

Krinvest formed 10 years ago from a small aspiring  company with a passion to provide exceptional services for the care home sector. Based predominantly in the North West of England, their aim is to provide a high standard of care and attention. They provide retired living and learning disability support and mental health illness rehabilitation. They also provide nursery services. Triodos provided £1.4m debt finance for their new facility in Warrington.

 

 

words: Chris Yong

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