'It's too generalised': Bournemouth woman calls for support for people with spinal chord injuries

  • Video report from ITV News Meridian's Derek Johnson

Six years ago teacher Donna Tuzal from Bournemouth went from being able bodied to being a full time wheelchair user.

A rare and severe type of spinal stenosis left her needing operations, her right leg is paralysed and her left leg is very weak.

Donna agrees with the findings of a new report saying that mental health counselling for those with spinal cord injuries is not good enough.

  • Donna Tuzal

She said: 'It's too generalized. Did they emphasize they can't empathize with you. It's not specific enough for your needs."

"You might be talking about pain. They're not trained in pain, perhaps. We need more investment to get more counselors trained with spinal cord injuries."

The report is the work of psychologists from the Universities of Reading and Buckingham overseen by the spinal injuries association.

Dave Barcher, from the Spinal Injuries Association, said: "The simple fact is that there isn't enough support and this research and what we're finding really needs to be the wake up call".

"For the NHS and health care planners and policy makers to be providing better mental health support for spinal cord injured people and their families and their carers, and that needs to happen".

  • Dave Barcher, from the Spinal Injuries Association

The report was presented to Parliament today. Donna said her family members have also suffered and that is an issue that's overlooked.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "We are determined to ensure everyone is able to access the mental heath support they need."

"There are plans to transform and expand mental health support this year for people with a variety of mental health conditions."