Saturday, 11 June 2011

Depression - prescribed by your local NHS

During my day at the Royal Cornwall I visited the Cornwall Council pavilion which was being shared with a number of other public services, including the NHS. I got given a 'goodie' bag by the NHS people which is about as depressing as a goodie bag can be.

The bag itself is a pretty positive brown paper bag encouraging people to take their litter home and recycle what they can.

But once you get inside...

- A leaflet on reducing your risk of getting bowel cancer
- A leaflet on detecting skin cancer
- A leaflet explaining how being overweight causes cancer
- A leaflet from the Home Office telling me not to put up with domestic violence
- A bumper pack of advice on how to give up smoking*
- A leaflet telling me that sunbeds will give me cancer
- A leaflet on the Patient Advice and Liaison Service
- A leaflet explaining that alcohol will give me cancer
- A leaflet telling me that too much sun will give me cancer
- A leaflet telling me how not to gain weight if I give up smoking
- A leaflet advising me how to check for testicular cancer
- A leaflet on mens health issues
- A leaflet warning me of the dangers of drinking too much
- A leaflet telling me how to eat healthily
- A leaflet telling me how to get NHS dental treatment
- Another copy of the leaflet on mens health issues
- A small card telling me that getting NHS dental treatment is easier than I think
- Two small tubs of lip balm
- An unsharpened pencil which appears to have no branded message

In themselves, any of these leaflets might be very useful. But the overall effect of so many warning leaflets is deeply depressing - and the only condition for which a leaflet is not provided is depression! Only the advice pack on how to give up smoking looked at all positive. Surely the NHS has a better message to give?

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