Brexit And Mental Health, Depression – How Are You Coping?

Humpty_Dumpty_TennielAs you read this, probably it is Sunday evening or Monday. And it is just a day before Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls for second prorogation of parliament///CRIMSON TAZVINZWA

Parliament is to be suspended again from next week, Downing Street has confirmed. Boris Johnson will request the Queen shuts down the Commons next Tuesday, 8 October, for at least three days. He will then return to hold his Queen’s Speech setting out plans on Monday 14 October.

De Javu!

But! Look? It has been almost 4 solid years when the British people were asked to participate in this uproarious and delirious dance called BREXIT whose tune, lyrics and rhythm mystify everbody to the point of delirium.

Look at what has jus happened to these two guys. John. Mike.

John and Mike are childhood friends in their midforties from Smerthwick, Birmingham. Since knowing each other they spoke with one another literally every day. They lived on the same street. Went to the same school. College. Studied same discipline at university. They are GPs by way of trade. They even own and work for the same practice.

But since that fateful day; the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum day, also known as the EU referendum when the UK voted to leave the EU –  John and Mike are no longer on talking terms.

The simple reason; John voted to remain while Mike voted ‘leave’. It is so incredible that something as parastatal and global as a ‘national referendum’ can have such far reaching undesired consequences so as to wreck havoc on an otherwise enterprising relationship and firendship.

The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, happened on 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom (UK) and Gibraltar to ask the electorate if the country should remain a member of, or leave the European Union (EU), under the provisions of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 and also the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

The referendum resulted in 51.9% of votes being in favour of leaving the EU (17,410,742 votes). Although legally the referendum was non-binding, the government of that time had promised to implement the result, and it initiated the official EU withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, meaning that the UK was due to leave the EU before 11PM on 29 March 2019, UK time, when the two-year period for Brexit negotiations expired.

Obviously the proroguing of Parliament leaves a scant number of days for the passage of debates in the chamber before the deadline of October 31st 2019 when, unless something changes, the UK will leave the European Union.

Over the last three years since the UK voted on 23rd of June 2016 to leave the European Union, brexit has been both everything and nothing in public debate. People have argued that brexit is a distraction from the ‘real issues’ faced by people in the UK and that focusing upon it means ignoring issues facing people in the here and now. Living through the last three years in the wake of the EU referendum result has been like living on the back of a creature so big you can’t see it when standing on it. At once brexit been the justification for everything and the justification for nothing.

BREXIT Nothing less than an acute mental health issue

It’s tempting to see mental health as only being about mental health services, sticking to appeals to a new government to make sure that mental health services don’t lose out in future Spending Reviews while ignoring the conditions that brexit might create in people’s lives because ‘that’s politics, not mental health’. But mental health is not an island and mental illness does not exist in a vacuum. Keeping up the lobby for more and better mental health services is vital, but mental health does not stop there. If the current most likely brexit outcome occurs, the changes that it will bring about will touch and alter everything.

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