Mental health
Mental health

Last year I was contacted by the family of a 16-year-old, who had recently been diagnosed with autism, but was also severely struggling with her mental health.

Her parents were doing their best to navigate the system and get their daughter the help and support she needed. They were taking time off work to attend meetings with services – who often didn’t turn up or cancelled at the last minute.

During this time, the girl’s mental health deteriorated – she started to become physically violent towards her parents and had no sense of danger or risk for herself. She would take herself off at night, without informing her parents and started to self-medicate with alcohol.

Her parents were worried that she was vulnerable, possibly to exploitation.

They tried to get help from all services, but they found that because their daughter was 16, she was no longer able to get support from children’s mental health services, and because she wouldn’t engage with a GP or other services, they wouldn’t speak to her parents without her consent.

The family could see their daughter retreat even further and were worried that she might try to take her own life.

Her parents were advised that if things got too bad to call 999 and take her to A&E.

Sadly, this family are still fighting for support for their daughter, but unfortunately this is not an isolated case. Last year, more than 1,000 people were waiting for treatment from mental health services in Sheffield alone. Many have been waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment.

This tragic situation is a direct result of 13 years of Tory underfunding and lack of resources in mental health services. Labour has guaranteed mental health treatment within in a month for all who need it.

More and more people often need help and support with their mental health, and we know the sooner someone can get treatment, the more chance they have to move forward with their lives or use coping strategies to fulfil their potential.

There is a list of services that can support you with your mental health on my website, these are both local and national services, visit for more details.

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