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Aibu to think that mental health service are inaccessible to sahm?

(64 Posts)
ArriettyMatilda Thu 08-Sep-16 07:57:00

I am a sahm and most of the cbt, group sessions, workshops and counselling happens in between the hours of 9am -5pm. How, as a sahm with no child care between 7am-7pm, am I supposed to access any support? Even the ones I'm the evening are too far away for me to get to by the time dp gets home.

The only option I can see is cbt online (apparently there is an instant messaging version, I'd feel far to awkward doing a video call or speaking over the phone). But I'm really trying to be online less as I know that makes me feel worse. Plus I've been told to self refer and there are five providers of these services that cover my area, how am I supposed to choose and what if I make the wrong choice? My gp is referring me for counselling but by the looks of half the websites I could self refer to that as well as the cbt and other groups /workshops. I have no idea what I'll do for childcare then either.

Has anyone else needed this kind of he'll as a sahm and what helped in the end?

manicinsomniac Thu 08-Sep-16 08:11:50

I'm amazed you're experiencing this as I've only ever felt how much easier managing my mental health would be as a SAHM. But, reading your post, I can kind of see it.

I can't currently go to any of the psychiatric/psychological treatment for my conditions because it needed to be during the day and at the same time each week. I'm a teacher so, although I can and do have time off the medical treatment, I can't have a regular timeslot due to missing the same class each week.

Surely as a SAHM you just get a babysitter for the time you need?

Kr1stina Thu 08-Sep-16 08:13:30

" just get a babysitter " isn't that easy hmm

Any more that " just get a colleague to cover your class"

MoonStar07 Thu 08-Sep-16 08:14:22

I'm in the same position. I need mental health help and physio. I don't have anyone to looks after DCs or babysit them. No family nearby. My back is a mess my head probably worse! I don't have a solution other than I will have to find someone to help but over the years I've found no one

AnxiousMunchkin Thu 08-Sep-16 08:17:19

No more inaccessible than to anyone else who has work or caring commitments during working hours. You have been offered an alternative with the online CBT - I don't think they're discriminating against parents here.

fartooexpensive Thu 08-Sep-16 08:25:41

'No more inaccessible than to anyone else who has work or caring commitments during working hours'

This ^. Nhs services are obviously limited they cant provide 24/7 cbt.

You need to do what everyone has to do and arrange child care via friend, family or cm/nursery. Nothing to do with being a sahp.

celeryisnotasuperfood Thu 08-Sep-16 08:26:49

What is the reason for not being able to pay for some childcare to be able to do this? Is it just financial or is that part of the reason you want to access help?
If financial - where is your partner in this? Can they not take leave for 1 day a week for 6 weeks for example so you can access at least a short course? Can you forego a holiday or clothes for a year to pay for childcare? Can you ask a favour from a friend - they watch your kids so you can attend and you will reciprocate the days and watch theirs?
I'm a stay at home mum and while I may not need to attend cbt sessions this is what I do in order to have time for myself which I see as looking after my mental health - can any of this work for you?

Bubblebloodypop Thu 08-Sep-16 08:27:07

I think it's hard for most people to be honest. But yes people do assume a SAHM can 'just get a babysitter' and it's really not that easy.

fartooexpensive Thu 08-Sep-16 08:27:46

"But I'm really trying to be online less as I know that makes me feel worse"

Agreed that can make things worse. So limit it, don't go on mn and go on a cbt instant messaging service for now until you can arrange child care for cbt sessions.

ArriettyMatilda Thu 08-Sep-16 08:32:55

No that is true with caring, I did think most jobs would allow time for medical appointments but I can see that's not the case. All family live two hours away so that is not an option. Dd has never been babysat by a stranger so I'd have the added stress of that, never mind that we can't really afford it. She will be starting at nursery but only two mornings a week and will obviously need to spend time settling in. The nursery don't offer extended hours, it is a preschool type nursery and she'll be there for two set mornings a week. I guess I should start with the online stuff to see of it helps.

FrancisCrawford Thu 08-Sep-16 08:53:48

Your job may allow you to leave work, travel to counselling, have session and then return again, but may then require you to stay late to make up that time. So if you have weekly counselling, and that plus journey = 3 hours, then you have to work an extra three hours each week. Meaning that if you normally finished at 5 you would have to work until 8.

Having had a lot of counselling, CBT etc I would not be able to attend a session and then go back to work because i was too drained. And having to work an extra 1/2 day each week would have been a huge stress on me, probably would have made me more I'll in fact. So I was very glad I had after work appointments.

As a SAHM you are potentially much more flexible that someone who works 9 to 5, even if that does not work out in practice for you.

It might be a good idea to form some sort of support network near home so that if there is an emergency there is someone who can look after your DD for a couple of hours. Do you have any friends with young children who are also at home? Could your partner rearrange working hours so you can attend?nis there a crèche at any of the facilities offering the sessions where you could leave your DD?

Best of luck working your way through this.

Are there any walking groups associated with any of these programmes? It can be a great thing to help you cope a little bit better as well as getting you out of the house and meeting other people. It might be possible to take your DD in a pushchair.

ArriettyMatilda Thu 08-Sep-16 09:00:50

celeryisnotasuperfood thanks the suggestions. I can't really go without clothes, this week two pairs of my jeans have worn out (by worn out I mean holes in the thighs so they aren't fashionable holes) and half my t shirts have holes in. Holidays are quite important to me and actually this year's holiday was in lieu of Christmas presents from both sets of parents. Dp has enough holiday to take a week off between now and Christmas, a week off at Christmas and a week off between Christmas and April. It could be an option if we forgoe one of those weeks but I would feel guilty that he's missing out on some proper time off to spend with us as a family or by himself. He does look after dd whilst I work at the weekend and always has her if I want to go out with friends. I'd need to admit to having a problem to ask friends but it could work. I'm just not sure who I'd ask and if they'd be willing for me to look after their child. A lot of them are either pregnant with a second or have two children already so I don't know how viable that will be.

I can't tell if it is all actually inaccessible or if I am just stopping myself from doing it so any other ideas are welcome.

Babyroobs Thu 08-Sep-16 09:03:37

I think it's a shame that these days there seems to be so little community support. I remember back in the days when I was a child neighbours were always in and out of each others homes, caring for each others kids for an hour or two, it was just normal, well certainly in my community ( although I guess there were more sahp's). My own mum was always minding neighbours kids for an hour or two. Are there any volunteer groups / Homestart or something who might be able to help if you asked?

phillipp Thu 08-Sep-16 09:03:45

This is a problem for everyone not sahm.

I know sahms who could easily get childcare mid week. They would be able to go easily. But not all sahms have this available.

My kids are in school and I work. But I work for myself so can't say I can be free on this day every week for 6 weeks. Because If a client needs to see me then, I can't afford to say no.

Employed people may have to work time back, which means they wouldn't be able to pick their kids up from nursery, for example.

Or people may need to take it as unpaid, or holidays. Even if you take it as holidays, what happens if you use all those holidays for when the kids aren't at school because you can't afford childcare.

This isn't anything to do with being a sahm, self employed, employed.

I am sorry you are struggling. But it's not a sahm issue.

Can your dp really not take a morning off a week?

Jamiesmuddyknees Thu 08-Sep-16 09:04:03

Arriety I'm not sure where you're based but have you thought about seeing if there are any womens centres in your area? I volunteer at one and we have a creche on site which allows women in your situation to recieve free counselling.

Shantotto Thu 08-Sep-16 09:08:03

I did CBT over the phone. I managed ok, but then I only had a non mobile 7 month old to wave toys at while I talked.

Would that be an option?

ArriettyMatilda Thu 08-Sep-16 09:10:55

FrancisCrawford that does sound extremely hard to work around. I just thought if I finished work at 5pm then I could get to some evening things but I have to wait for dp to get in. I feel like I could ask friends in an emergency but I don't want to offload too much on them or put pressure on for something regular. Dps work don't do flexitime so his hours are quite set and with a 1.5 hour commute both ends he is even less flexible. The only creche mentioned on the website is one for new mums and dd is a toddler so I don't think that course is aimed at me. Dd also wouldn't stay in a push chair but we are out and about a lot to national trust places, toddler walks and a community allotment. But none of it is helping how I feel, or maybe I'd feel even worse if we weren't doing those things.

Mittensonastring Thu 08-Sep-16 09:22:12

How many sessions have been recommended for you? I actually think that your partner may just have to take leave in these circumstances. Plus you have written he gets 3 weeks off between now and next April. He would still get 2 weeks and why the guilt, I actually think it's good if men get some time caring for their children by themselves. Also you could plan to do something after or if it is too tiring make those days one where you have a take away and a dvd. Sometimes spending time together as a family is just sitting on your arse.

blueshoes Thu 08-Sep-16 09:24:06

You are a SAHM with one toddler dd? Can you cultivate some other SAHM friendship and do a little mutual babysitting from time to time and gradually build up to leaving her with them whilst you go out for your sessions.

How long door to door will you need to be away for? I would not mind being leant on in this way if I thought a friend needed some help if it was not all one-way, which it won't be because you are a SAHM who can reciprocate on another occasion. When my dc were toddlers, I preferred them to be around other children than just me with them alone.

ssd Thu 08-Sep-16 09:25:41

I feel for you op, I was you for years

now my kids are teens and I'm starting CBT and am hoping it helps

I've got no good suggestions, the person above saying cant you just get a babysitter sums it up really, no one understands unless they've been there

thanks

Arseicle Thu 08-Sep-16 09:26:19

Come off it, you have one child, and you prioritise everything else above this. You could go if you wanted to, its obviously not important enough.

Shantotto Thu 08-Sep-16 09:27:36

Oh and I'm currently on my second round, just about to finish, boo. My DP was fortunate enough to be able to work from home. He started an hour early and took an hour out in the middle of the day and uses lunch and that just about covered me eating there, a 50 min session and back.
I really understand though that I was incredibly lucky that his work let him do that, and he has the kind of job where he can.

ssd Thu 08-Sep-16 09:28:30

op, ignore Arseicle, I've seen this poster around and they are hellbent on causing upset.

Shantotto Thu 08-Sep-16 09:30:51

Incredibly harsh Arseicle! One of the major symptoms of anxiety for me is being unable to do even the most basic of things even though they were vitally important as you just become paralysed.

A very silly example but I have gum problems and I must floss twice a day. At the height of my anxiety it seems like it would be easier for me to go to the moon!

OP is at least trying to get help! OP - do see if you can do it on the phone, see how distracted you are. See if it works. Could you put a film on for your DD?

ArriettyMatilda Thu 08-Sep-16 09:32:58

Thanks everyone will try to reply properly later as need to get ready to go out.

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