When someone is told they have a spinal cord injury, they need to come to terms with this psychologically as well as physically. Having a spinal cord injury has been especially hard during Covid and the Spinal Injuries Association (“SIA”) have just produced a report addressing the mental health needs of those affected by spinal cord injury and the additional challenges they face.
The SIA report, titled “It’s Not Just Physical”, involved research by the SIA with the Universities of Reading and Buckingham. The SIA recently had a fundraising event, the Gunpowder Ball, where a video from Donna Tuzul was shown. This is a film about life after Cauda Equina Syndrome and shows how the SIA helped Donna. Our clients have been supported by the SIA; their fantastic mentoring service is provided by others with SCI, who are more able to relate to how the person is feeling, having been through a similar pathway themselves. The SIA counselling service was “phenomenal” for Donna and highlights the importance of addressing mental as well as physical health.
The report also considers feedback from family members as well as those living spinal cord injury. Did you know that someone with spinal cord injury is 3 times more likely to consider suicide and 47% report mental health problems? Nik Hartley, CEO of the SIA, has called on the Government to do more. The SIA is asking “the NHS, government and other health policy makers to provide better mental health support services for SCI people – and their unpaid carers – as a matter of urgency.”
Nik Hartley, SIA’s CEO highlighted:
“We are at risk of failing thousands of people in the UK living with a spinal cord injury. Our new report highlights that psychological damage caused by a SCI is, at best, considered as an afterthought, and at worst, completely ignored by the medical profession. We need urgent action and for services to be sufficiently specialised to support the thousands of people living with this type of injury before it is too late.”
For more news about this important research on the mental impact of living with spinal cord injury, read:
Barratts are proud to be recognised by the SIA as specialist spinal cord injury solicitors, with expertise in helping people make claims after accidental spinal injury or negligence. For over 30 years we have acted for clients with SCI including missed cases of Cauda Equina Syndrome, road traffic accidents and accidents at work. If you need advice about SCI and think you may have a claim for clinical negligence or personal injury please contact our specialist teams.