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Mental health assessment - what to expect?

(3 Posts)
CulturalBear Thu 14-Aug-14 12:33:17

After realising thank you Mumsnet that I am struggling with PND following a mild birth trauma, I went to the GP and he told me to self refer for counselling (he offered ADS but I said I wanted to try without first).

So I called up and went through some basic questions on the phone and the woman told me that they have someone specialising in birth trauma at the moment, and that she'll be in touch when she's back off holiday at the end of the month to arrange an appointment.

Yesterday, I received a letter telling me that I needed to have a mental health assessment and I had seven days (presumably only 4 now) to call a certain number and book on.

I'm now wobbling about this - have they changed their minds and now think I have a serious problem? What happens at a mental health assessment?

Also, I can see this is going to need me to be taking time off work for appointments. This is compounded as my DP uses the car for work so I'll be restricted to public transport, so would have to be shelling out lots for taxis or lose hours out of the office at a time.

What do I tell work about needing long appointment absences? I don't want them to know about any MH issues I may/may not have.

CycleChic Thu 14-Aug-14 16:42:38

You can say to work that it's "Complications following the birth- I don't want to talk about it" assuming that it's not been too many years- it's true after all, they don't need to know that the complications are to do with processing your experience rather than to do with your reproductive health.

The MH assessment will be the initial chat before you can access the birth trauma councilling, the expert will want to work our how many sessions you need, etc. At least, that's what it was when I had one before getting CBT.

CulturalBear Thu 14-Aug-14 16:46:08

Thanks CycleChic that's a relief to know that. The wording of the letter was pretty intimidatory in tone, so that threw me somewhat.

So an extended version of the phone discussion that I had initially?

I could try the birth complications line - that would certainly terrify the (new, male) boss into not asking more.

Will see how much time I'll need when I speak to them and take it from there. I just didn't want to phone up expecting one thing and then be hit with something else.

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