This post is one that has been bubbling away and making me more and more cross over the past couple of years! I have chosen to post it now as I have yet again been let down by the mental health services mainly due to the fact I have a young son.
Getting help for a mental health issue is a huge task for most people.
Getting the courage to admit you’re struggling and need help is the first hurdle. Then getting to see your GP, answering sometimes very difficult questions then being referred t the mental health services in your area. Waiting (again) for them to contact you. Answering more questions then being put on waiting lists for each and every department, service and therapy group. It is a constant battle of waiting lists, forms and questions, but when you finally reach where you need to be that should be it, the care is finally here, that’s it, right?
Well, no! No in my case anyway!
I have gone through all of these awful draining waiting lists and questions and still find it extremely difficult to access good care. I will be offered an appointment with my Psychiatrist after waiting 6 to 8 weeks and it will yet again be at a time when I have to look after my son. I pluck up the courage to call them and explain the difficulty of attending this appointment but the only thing offered to me is another appointment but in another 6 weeks! This is regardless of how ‘bad’ I am feeling or how much I am struggling.
I was offered an intensive therapy course which I was told would really help me. Great. I had been waiting 2 years for it. I got there and found out it was 3 full days a week with no flexibility. I couldn’t possible afford to put my little boy in childcare this much. Even if we managed to financially arrange something I was told I would be not be able to have time off when he was ill of for school holidays without being in trouble for it!
So I had to look at another option.
I eventually I found another therapy. But I was only offered a time when my son was not at preschool so that means paying for him to go for a full day! Ok sometimes you need to pay a bit extra or do a little more to access care but I have done nothing but battle to get any kind of care and even now it seems to be getting worse not better.
I have recently been struggling. Struggling with my own mental health but my son has also been quite ill. Because of my son being poorly and in hospital I have missed a few therapy sessions. I have called and explained on each occasion but I have just been told that this can’t continue or else I will be discharged!
I have explained that my son was ill and in hospital at times but unfortunately this was not accepted! I will continue to attend as much as I possibly can – until they kick me out I guess!
I have had professionals – my CPN, GP, Occupational therapist and Psychiatrist – say to me time and time again that I have family and a husband so they could look after my son. But My husband works over and hour away and is self employed and all of our family’s work full time. They are not retirement age and cannot simply afford to takes hours or even days off of work at the drop of a hat!
I mentioned that I had been struggling recently and I really have been but the only help I have been offered is going back to attend day hospital which of course is pretty impossible as I have my 3 year old son. So what else have I been offered?
Believe it or not – nothing!
Well, I was told they are wanting to up my antidepressant and anti-psychotic medication, which is ok I guess but they also want to up my sleep medication which of course I can’t do because I have my little boy I need to be able to wake up for and be fully functioning in morning for him.
So I guess what I am saying is;
NHS; Of course we can help you Amy.
ME; Thank you.
NHS; Oh wait you’ve got kids – sorry it’s not going to be that easy.
It really isn’t fair. I am not sure what the answer is – Professionally run creche so mums and dads can access care that they need? I think this would be the best thing. It gives us the peace of mind that our children and safe and close by so that we can access and fully engage in the care that many of us so desperately need!
If there is anyone else suffering the same way I’d love to here from you. Also if anyone knows how I may be able to take this further then please get in touch.
Lots of love to you all.