Saturday, 3 June 2017

When we need a little help.

I touched on this briefly when I was telling My Story.  But I knew I wanted to come back and really look in to this.  Even if it is to get off my chest.  Have a look at the estimated stats below.

In the UK there are approximately:

  • 1.6 Million have an eating disorder
  • 1.1 Million - 2.7 Million people are addicted to or using drugs
  • 1.4 Million people are alcohol dependent 
  • 9 Million People smoke cigarettes
  • 2.7 Million People are smoking e-cigarettes
  • 500,00 People contracted an STi
  • 24.9% of the population are obese
So a few facts a figures for you to mull over.  All of the above can be fatal.  All of the above are self-inflicted - maybe mental illnesses - maybe addictions, whatever they are to the individual, if any of these individuals do not get help they all can be life threatening.  

So why is is when it comes to getting help from the NHS you have to turn in to a performing monkey and start having to jump through hoops?  Yes the NHS run lots of campaigns for these different disorders but are they really addressing the actual problems, which I believe stem from society and lack of education.

The Government campaigned hard to combat smoking.  It was hugely successful  and it has been a whole different game out there in society.  Smoking is not socially acceptable.  How did they change people's mindsets?  What did they do?  They re-educated the people with scare tactics and brutally true information.  They offered cessation to smokers, every surgery is swamped with literature about the effects of smoking and smoking related diseases.  They banned advertisement for any smoking products. They banned smoking from social places, such as work places, pubs, hotels, restaurants etc.  They have put taxes up on cigarettes so they are hardly affordable.  I can see in my lifetime that smoking will become obsolete as each year less and less of the UK population are smoking.  Brilliant, why can't they do the same with Alcohol and Sugar? (Drugs are tricky as there is no control of the substances as a majority of drug related addiction is illegal)  So OK the STi campaigns come and go depending on the most popular STi.  Alcohol campaigns are only usually around the Christmas period.  Where are the drug campaigns, the eating disorder campaigns???  Some are just forgotten.  
I don't know! 

I can remember when I was a youn'un I had road safety shoved down my throat when I was a kid.  The Green Cross Code Man and Tufty made us aware.   There they were popping up during peak time advertising.   Children's safety adverts about strangers etc.  Yes by the time were were 11 and going off in to secondary school we were sick to the back teeth of it.   But we were aware, and very steet wise.  So why not bring back the awareness campaigns having age approprate campaigns at the cinema's, on video games, in magazines on the Poster Boards, I mean where have they gone, you don't see them really.   Pubs to close during the day or not be able to serve alcohol.  Sugar taxes for consumers.  The list can go on, couldn't it.  As a society we have the tools to obtain safe advice on how to get help for different treatments.  Hmmm!! I think more campaigns.  We are living in an impatient world where information has to be given freely.  Why is help limited. All boils down to the same thing MONEY!!!!!!!  Whats my point here?  Well look at this:

  • Eating Disorders and related treatments costs the NHS £1.26 Billion (2016)
  • Drug Addiction costs the NHS £15.4 Billion 
  • Alcohol Addiction and related treatments costs the NHS  £21 Billion
  • Smoking Cessation Services and related treatments costs the NHS  £5.5 Billion
  • 2.7 Million People are smoking e-cigarettes - not yet known
  • 500,00 People contracted an STi and related treatments costs the NHS 11.4 Billion
  • Obesity costs the NHS between £6 - £8 Billion each year (2015)
    (All figures are rough cut from the internet)
That is a heck of a lot of money.  And that's only information what I swiped from the internet.  I suspect the spending is a lot more.  Isn't prevention better than cure?  But if there were no taxes being taken from cigarettes or alcohol where is the money coming from?  I feel like I have uncovered a government conspiracy. 

What I really want to talk about is obesity.  After all this is why I am here.  Would have I become morbidly obese if I had the help I needed 30 years ago?  I think no or I maybe would be a little overweight.  I think the information we needed was in front of us all the time.  But as with everything it is swept under the carpet.  Why was I not listened to, I was told to stop eating the junk.  UMMMMM If it as that easy why would I go to my GP?  Why was I pushed aside as if I deserved to be fat?  Like eating fruit and veg was the answer.  well of course not it ran much deeper than that.  I should have been asked if I wanted to speak to a councillor or be referred to a dietitian who could have helped me, explained to me what the sugars and fat are doing to my body.  Re-educate me on eating healthy, why I needed carbs and proteins and what they do for you.  Yes I think so.  

As you may know I work in a secondary school with students who range from 11 - 19.  It's sad to see how many of these students, both girls and boys are struggling with weight issues and subsequently, their self-esteem, confidence, self image and self worth.  It's even sadder to see how we cant properly address it because of government guidelines.  A bowl or cup of fruit in the canteen area is hardly introducing healthy eating or even promoting healthy eating in schools.   
Maybe my concerns are wrong?  Is there too much of a choice these days?  The town I live is not very big and yet there are so many food places to eat.  It's teeming with food places and not any of them offering a healthy option.  

Maybe because I am embarking on a new path that my eyes have been opened to all what I knew and now I am thinking normally, instead of ignoring what little information there has been who knows why I am thinking differently.  I think I have made my point.  

I am hoping this is not a negative post but more of a post for you to go forth and make your opinion known.  

All it takes is one person to change the world..

See you on the flip side xx

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