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Compassionate Mental Health

Compassionate Mental Health

This post will have a different flavour to posts in the past, I say this because I write this post with a degree or anger and I would generally not be so forthright in these posts.

I read in the newspaper today about Dr Wendy Potts, a GP who suffered with bi-polar who committed suicide after she had been suspended due to a blog she wrote about her condition. In the first instance, this is a tragedy, she was a mother and partner not only a general practitioner and her family and friends have to cope with the untimely death of a loved one.

I believe that what she did regarding writing a blog about her experiences with bi-polar was an incredibly brave and courageous act and should have merited praise and respect. Instead, what it did was lead to a suspension because one of her patient’s questioned the appropriateness of Dr Potts being a working GP.

This is what swells my anger, it cannot be ignored that there has been a shift regarding the treatment of people with mental health issues. The general public and the profession are far more inclined to be more understanding and empathetic to people facing this challenge. Where this case is so sad is that it was a member of the public who turned on someone trying to do her job and provide the best case possible. Someone who was brave enough to discuss her difficulties in a clear and open manner.

It is no good saying that professionals need to be more understanding of mental health issues, if the public can remain ignorant and indeed unkind to it. This was a situation that needn’t have occurred, and it leaves me with a final thought, who heals the healers if they cannot be open about their struggle, how many more health professionals are at risk of ending their lives because they feel that there is nowhere for them to go?

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