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Counselling after overdose

(10 Posts)
EndodSummerLooming Sat 13-Aug-16 10:27:44

DD took a small overdose and became an emergency camhs referral through a&e. She was assessed as low to medium risk and referred for counselling. This was about eight weeks ago and nothing is happening.

I thought, as an emergency this would be dealt with more quickly.

Does anyone know what the wait should be. CAMHS have phoned her twice and she's told them she's ok. Of course she's ok, it's the holidays so no friendship issues or school stress.

I did phone them and they said there are people ahead of her and they've spoken to her and she's confirmed she's ok.

Should I be making more of a fuss. I thought it was an emergency and would be dealt with. If they'd said it would take this long I'd have got someone private, but what's a usual wait. Feel they are fobbing us off.

HawkingsMead Sat 13-Aug-16 13:55:57

There usually is a waiting list but it depends on the area. If you can afford to go privately and you think she needs urgent help especially before back to school, then that's what I'd do.

I wouldn't think they are fobbing you off - but they should be able to tell you how many people are ahead of her. If it's only a few then they can give you some idea as to the wait but if it is a long list then they genuinely probably have no idea as there will be people who don't use their services or those who need longer than estimated, etc.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope you can get some support soon either way.

Maybe someone can recommend a charity that might help with urgent counselling?

EndodSummerLooming Sat 13-Aug-16 15:10:05

I wish they'd told me. They said it was an urgent referral and I thought that meant a few weeks. If they'd said a few months, I'd have sorted out something else.

It feels like very poor communication.

SealSong Sat 13-Aug-16 16:01:43

Is it counselling through CAMHS or have they referred her on to a counselling service? CAMHS often does not have counselling 'in house' and will usually refer on to a different service. If that's the case then timescales are outside of CAMHS control - the counselling service may have a waiting list. I would phone the counselling service / CAMHS (whichever is most relevant) and enquire when your DD will be seen.

Unfortunately she may not be being prioritised as urgent because she is coping ok at the moment and there are so many high risk young people that services have to attend to. It's not great and your DD should not have to wait, but that's the reality of very over stretched services unfortunately. The initial assessment will have been treated as 'emergency' as the level of risk was not known at that point.
If you can afford private counselling that might be the best way to go.

EndodSummerLooming Sat 13-Aug-16 16:49:42

It's with a CAMHS partner. So my understanding is that it's subcontracted put and that CAMHS should know about the timeframes and there should be a service level agreement between them and CAMHS.

I'll check it out on Monday but I'm not very impressed. My DD told me she was fine and coping on the day she took the overdose as I've made clear to the woman at CAMHS.

I don't understand why CAMHS doesn't gave information about the waiting times. When they referred dd couldn't they have asked then and passed on the information. If they'd told me it would take this long, I'd have arranged something else. Surely that would have been better.

Gives up hope.

SealSong Sat 13-Aug-16 16:59:13

It won't be 'subcontracted' through CAMHS. Services for young people's mental health are arranged via local CCGs (commissioning groups - made up of GPs etc) who decide what services they want providing young people's mental health in their area. So unlikely that CAMHS will have any information on waiting times, unless that service has specifically informed them. Sadly CAMHS practitioners are rushed off their feet and do not have time to ring and find out for each referral. They SHOULD however have given you contact info for the service providing the counselling and directed you to contact them if you have any queries or want to know when your DD will be offered an appointment.

Have you rung the counselling service to ask when your DD will be offered an appointment?

Regardless of the above, I'm sorry that you've had to wait.

EndodSummerLooming Sat 13-Aug-16 19:40:17

But the CAMHS nurse phoned the service to make the referral and told us it was an urgent one. I suppose I am to blame because I didn't ask exactly what urgent meant. But my definition if urgent after an overdose isn't two months. I'll ring the people on Monday. But I'd had thought if the service was that hard pressed, they'd let people know timeframes so they did go elsewhere.

Seems bananas. There were funds to admit my DD overnight after eight paracetamol and to book a 1:1 nurse.

SealSong Sat 13-Aug-16 20:15:48

Unfortunately the referral may have been sent as 'urgent', but that doesn't guarantee it's treated as urgent by the other organisation. Also I suppose it depends on what their waiting list is like, maybe your DD HAS been prioritised by the counselling organisation and is near the top of the waiting list but there hasn't been a counsellor with available space as yet.

I do sympathise though. The system as it is set up at the moment is not meeting the needs of young people with mental health problems nationally - and I say that as a CAMHS practitioner (as you may have guessed). Unfortunately CAMHS gets a lot of blame for things that are often outside it's control, hence me offering another view on what may be causing the delay for your DD.

Anyway I will stop going on now, and I wish all the best for your DD and I hope she gets her counselling soon.

EndodSummerLooming Sat 13-Aug-16 21:02:51

I'm sorry to go on, but CAMHS are considerably more experienced about these issues than me, so I don't understand why they don't provide clearer information so that people with the choice to get out of the system get put of it swiftly.

I'd have thought CAMHS would and should know a lot more about waiting times than me. But as I've said I took the word "urgent" after the serious way the hospital handled things at face value. Certainly not something I'd do again. It doesn't help that my dd's over 16 and I'm a third party in this - or that's how it feels.

SealSong Sat 13-Aug-16 21:31:47

I get how frustrating this is...all you want is the right support for your DD, and in a timely manner. I'd be fed up too, if it was my DD. Best way forward is give the counselling organisation a ring and speak to them on Monday. If you are concerned that further delay could make things worse for your DD, tell them. Point out that it was meant to be an urgent referral. Good luck with it all, and sorry it's been so delayed.

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