Health campaign makes progress

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Mental health campaigner Angela Hamilton is continuing to make progress in her fight for better, more accessible services and treatment.

Mum of two Angela, from Kildrum, has premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a condition that but was only diagnosed after an 11 month battle with bureaucracy.

Since that ordeal she is now demanding that GPs are given better training on how to handle mental health conditions and for patients to get improved access to specialist services. She carried out her own research into these issues and petitioned the Scottish Parliament last year.

Angela said: “I won’t find out until Autumn what happens next with the progression of my petition but it has been used in Sir Harry Burns’ target review. This month I have two meetings arranged, one with a woman from See Me Scotland to discuss how to challenge stigma and discrimination, as well as my plans for a mental health group in Cumbernauld, and I am also meeting with Angela from Falkirk’s Mental Health Association to discuss my progress and to see how we can take it forward. Jamie Hepburn MSP is also being supportive to an extent.”

Angela’s research found that only two of Scotland’s 12 health boards met the targets for quickly providing psychological therapies. Her Parliament petition read:

“1. Reducing the mental health waiting time target from 18 weeks to 14 weeks for adult therapies, and to 12 weeks for child and adolescent mental health services, and committing to ensuring 90% of patients begin treatment within these times; “2. Providing funding to ensure primary care staff receive additional training on supporting patients with mental health conditions; and “3. Providing funding for third sector organisations that deliver community based services, such as support groups, which can be accessed by patients whilst waiting for referral appointments.”

Angela also maintains a popular blog at http://angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk. She has written on various subjects including living with PDD, which is linked to her menstrual cycle and causes severe anxiety and depression, as well as various other topics such as her interests and her daily life.