In today’s health conscious society, mental health is just as important as physical health. We read every day in newspapers, magazines and the internet how to keep our physical health but mental health does not benefit from the same exposure. This is perhaps why statistics of such nature are not always a true reflection of those within the general population who suffer from mental health issues.
As a local firm in Fife, we deal with every day issues and often meet clients in their most vulnerable hour. We offer support and guidance through extremely stressful periods in someone's life and it is key to our work that we understand the difficulties that people face and work around any mental health difficulties they may have had or continue to have.
Unfortunately, there is still stigma surrounding mental health which can act as a barrier to people seeking help. For example, we represent family members at Children's Panel Hearings as often those coming under the eye of Social Work Services feel unable to admit to suffering from mental health problems due to the belief of this being used against them. The individual may feel that professionals may judge them or that this would simply go against them by being categorised as a risk factor.
Suffering from depression does not mean you can't care for your child yet it can be hard to convey this to someone who is anxious, feels helpless and is suffering in silence.
On the other hand, we represent clients who have been detained under a Short Term Detention Order due to a breakdown in their mental state, meaning they pose a risk to their own (or others) safety. We request and thereafter represent clients at Mental Health Appeal Tribunals and support individuals who wish to be treated within the community through a Community Based Order rather than having to reside within a hospital for compulsory treatment. In this scenario the severity of the individual's mental health difficulties may have lessened, usually as a result of engaging with professionals in a meaningful and positive way whilst complying with treatment.
In terms of Family Law, we understand that there is a myriad of emotions someone may face if they have to endure a long-standing court battle relating to a family matter whether it is concerning a contentious divorce or children. This in itself can cause a breakdown in someone's mental state even if they may not have a history of mental health problems.
Whilst the above is only a flavour of our work, we encounter issues directly related to or surrounding mental health on a daily basis. We support raising awareness of mental health due to the continued lack of understanding surrounding this and the stigma within society at large. We will continue to do our utmost to support our clients and make them aware of relevant agencies who can offer them assistance and support.