To stamp my feet and have a hissy fit about poor MH services.(21 Posts)
I was referred to counselling (anxiety and mild depression) in March this year. I was told the waiting list was 5 months. After 4 months I hadn't heard anything so I phoned Drs who said I should hear from the counselling services soon. I didn't, so phoned again. To be told the waiting list was now 6 months and I would be hearing from them when they had an appointment. So 6 months have gone by and I was told to phone Drs if I hadn't heard from them. I'm now told there is now an 8 month waiting list. So I'll just have to cope for ANOTHER TWO MONTHS!
What the hell? I'm doing all I can to get by but I really don't know how long I can go without support. I've seen this counsellor before a couple of years ago and I find him very easy to talk to about my situation. Basically I have a family situation that cannot be discussed with anyone. It causes me so much stress and I get very anxious as I'm always having to deal with some drama or crisis from an individual....and I can't talk to anyone about it.
I get the feeling that I'd only be seen quickly if I was suicidal. I'm not but my quality of life is not great at all.
I can't afford to go private either because I am on benefits due to ill health. (Complications from a diagnostic procedure to diagnose a disability.)
Is there anything I can do that will help my case? Write to my MP? Complain to the NHS? Seriously fucked off. I know there are others in similar or worse situations.....it's so unfair.
Can you access telephone counselling quicker than face-to-face? Not ideal but near me there is shorter waiting list for phone appointments.
I have asked about it and have a phone number.......I thought about possibly using it to tide me over but in reality what I need to talk about is of a very sensitive nature......I wouldn't want to risk someone overhearing it.....
I'm probably sounding a bit picky but I relate very well to this particular counsellor and he knows a fair bit about my history so I wouldn't have to start from the beginning again.
I used to work in MH services. I agree, the situation is shit and getting shitter. It is the same up and down the country. Demand is increasing and the levels of staffing and resources are dwindling.
I agree that telephone or online counseling, while not ideal, can be a good 'stop gap' while waiting for face to face therapy. Unfortunately, waiting times are always subject to change (increase in referrals, staff sickness etc) which is why many services are reluctant to give even ballpark waiting times anymore. Is there an IAPT service in your area? They provide short term CBT for low mood and anxiety and can usually see people reasonably quickly.
I know many people who have found 'Mindfulness' really helpful for managing their mood and stress levels. I am not suggesting it is a substitute for counseling but it can provide some useful coping strategies and make you feel less overwhelmed. The book Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman is very good.
You could telephone the NHS trust and make a formal complaint about the waiting time. In my experience this is unlikely to get you bumped up the list (so not a solution) but if enough people complain it does give the NHS Trust evidence to show commissioners that they do not currently have capacity to meet demands on the service.
sorry you're going through such a tough time.
It was ever thus.
Has anybody ever gauged the effects of counselling? I often wonder if it is a little haphazard in the guise of a cure for anxiety, depression, addiction and so on.
yorksha what is IAPT?
I'm doing what I can to stay afloat. Getting out the house everyday, popping to my allotment, even though I can't do much their and getting a bit of sun/rain......doing a bit of tai chi (at home, in my room so no one can see me lol)
I've made enquiries about a local class too.....I might build up courage to go.
I'm also self medicating with alcohol and I really want to move away from this as I know it doesn't help but I am struggling to cope......
I found counselling helpful as I was going there just to off load......the whole process of saying what I have to say outloud enables me to figure out how to cope with it. Don't know why it works but it did for me.
Sorry for your experience. Services are awful and i can't see them getting any better in the coming years sadly
There are some organisations that offer counselling at a reduced rate to people on benefits or low incomes. One not too far from me goes as low as £10 a session.
Have a look around. Give Mind or Rethink a call/email, they may be able to help.
You can ring the Samaritans. They are very busy but will talk to people that are being failed by the referral procedures and waiting times. It might be helpful just to vent to someone.
Thanks word and peg
Have been keeping the Samaritans on the back burner.
Will look up the two you suggested word.
Stupid question. If the stress of one individual is making you unwell (and if it isn't your child) can't you limit or cease contact with this person?
Can't you find a way to make sure no one overhears you?
Have you tried CBT? It isn't about discussing private things that have happened but about finding ways to change your behaviour?
Mindfulness and exercise have helped me.
And yes MH services are massively overstretched so if you will have to wait if you are only prepared to speak to one person.
It is my adult daughter wolfie
A very complicated and sad situation that I hold inside me all the time. She is mentally very ill and suffers from a personality disorder among other things. She is currently an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital......has been for a number of years.
I really just need to say it all outloud to someone who has some understanding of my situation and has no judgement.
It helped me so much before.
...also there is only one counsellor in the town I live. He works one day a week in our town of 10000 people.
First things first, I need you to understand that the mental health services are in a state at the moment, I know to a degree that they always have been, but I've definitely seen a change for the worse over the past few years. It definitely seems that it's only those who are feeling suicidal are given any real kind of help... so unless you feel suicidal, please don't have too much faith in what the NHS can do for you.
I have many of the same issues, depression, anxiety, personality disorder (BPD) and I was given very little help, but I feel that I am about 70% there, mostly through my own efforts.
If you can get it, CBT was the one thing that did help me, you can do cbt programmes online now, you can do this at home alone, and what it does is help you to think in a different way, and it can be wonderful for anxiety.... for a year I don't leave the house on my own. My anxiety isn't gone completely, and at times it's awful, but that's at times...not constant now.
I will tell you further things that have helped me,
As cliche as it sounds, exercise has helped me. Just a bit of walking. You won't feel you have the energy. But do it. You'll realise you feel a bit better.
Plan for the future. Always have something to work towards.
Meditation. I started with YouTube wave videos. I'd not watch the screen but would play the music whilst I was in the bath with candles.
The things you feel anxious about, you may need to focus on what you are anxious about and weigh up the odds of these things happening. Once you've done this, you need to push that thought away.
These are the biggest things I've found that help.
Mind also have centres that can offer far more than the NHS seems able to at the moment get into contact with them.
Good luck. It's not going to be easy, but the way you feel at the moment doesn't have to last. I thought it would be the way I always felt. 2012 was when things became very bad for me. I got my life back six months ago X
I do go for a walk for as long as I can manage. It helps. My usual tactics for dealing with MH isssues would be go for a long hike or dig at my allotment. I'm physically not able for that right now so I have to improvise.
Hence I need a bit more support.
The odds of something bad happening are pretty significant. It's not just my mind creating problems. I am under threat everyday from (unfounded) accusations everyday from my daughter. It's horrendous.
Could you try asking your daughter's social worker if there is any support available through them for you?
My Mum's social worker suggested that for me.
What's shocking is how much of a lottery it is. I used to live in a deprived area and was told flat out you had to be suicidal or a substance abuser to get any form of treatment and even then waited many months; I now live in a wealthy area and have had brilliant and much quicker treatment for a much less severe problem.
Even being suicidal does not get you help any more quickly; I am suicidal and still waiting for any regular help 6 months in ....
When things get too much I end up in hospital for a few hours/days (depending on whether I get 'picked up' before or after an attempt) which helps tide me over the next 2 - 3 weeks and so the pattern continues
I have given up expecting any more TBH. Better not to expect then if /when anything materialises it will be a nice surprise rather than thinking 'finally'.
I do second what people say about the Samaritans if you need to talk - they are very good listeners.
YANBU. I've had awful experiences too. Thank god for citalopram and that it works for me or I don't know if I'd even be alive now.
Have your daughters mental health team offered you a carers assessment? I'm pretty sure they should.
And yes complain. Waiting lists are too long and commissioners will only start to notice when people kick up a fuss.
blue a carers assessment was done when she was a teenager at the beginning of her being ill and at that point I didn't feel I needed any help.
I'm no longer her carer (her choice,) she is now refusing to have a relationship with me because I won't believe certain things she is telling me. (Being a victim of satanic abuse is one of those things.........)
I feel like mh services have completely failed her.
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