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How it feels to be let down by the mental health system

I have just recently had an appointment with my new CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse), my 7th in 5 years. I had an 8 month wait despite being in a vulnerable situation, having just given birth and suffering post natal depression for the second time. Anyway, I decided to give this CPN the benefit of the doubt.

But, unfortunately the short meeting was full of promises that things will change, they don’t know why I haven’t been contacted and forced apologies for why they no longer offer the services I need.

I literally want to scream sometimes – this is how it feels to be let down by the mental health system time and time again.

How it feels to be let down by the mental health system

In the beginning, when I first journeyed into the mental health system I was very ill so the lack of care didn’t overly bother me and I don’t think I even noticed majority of the time. But as I began to get better and actually wanted to get better, I began to notice – as did my close family – that the system was horrendous and failing me and many others time and time again.

The horror that was the Day Hospital was the beginning of the realisation that I was not going to get the care I needed. It is supposed to be a place to give you the care and support you need whilst keeping you safe when you are very vulnerable. Well, not only was it a complete let down but it was also a very dangerous and triggering environment. I witnessed patients arriving on drugs or drunk. There were fights and even people self harming. There were all manner of mentally ill patients, of varying degrees, grouped together in one room for 6 hours a day – not exactly what I call care!

The Complex Needs Service is yet another, almost laughable excuse of care and support. It is meant to be an intensive therapy. You attend 3 full days a week (due to cuts it was lowered to 2 days) and do a combination of group talking therapy, household jobs, cooking lunch and arguing about ridiculous things! It is to last around 18 months and you should leave recovered!

I was told that this service would be perfect for me so I (unwillingly) put myself forward. But I was quickly made aware that because I had a young son and there may be times I need to leave early or have days of to care for him, it meant I couldn’t continue. I was told that if I couldn’t commit to the programme 100% then I obviously wasn’t serious about wanting to get better.

Shocking isn’t it! It honestly made me feel like I was a failure because I couldn’t commit to this. I got to the point of “What’s the point!” There is just no help for me. I am a lost cause!

I mentioned that I have had 7 CPN’s in 5 years and I know it might not seem like a big thing to some, but when you suffer with your mental health consistancy is key to aiding recovery. You want someone who already knows you and your story inside out. You really don’t want to have keep repeating the most difficult of things over and over again every few months. It’s a waste of valuable time and it make me very stressed and anxious.

I have made it clear time and time again that I don’t want things handed to me on a plate. I am willing to put in the work to get better but I need the professional help and support to do that!

How it feels to be let down by the mental health system

Being let down by the mental health system leaves me feeling that no one really cares. The government, the staff, everyone. If they really did then me and people like me wouldn’t be treated like this. Because I know that my story isn’t a one off! I have been contacted by so many people through my blog and personally by people I know, who are also receiving this dangerous lack of care!

The lack of care I have received has been so awful that it’s almost unbelievable – if my close family hadn’t witnessed it I might almost think that I made it up!

I have said this before but if you had a broken leg you wouldn’t be treated like this! I’ve had a broken bone and you wait in A & E, have an X-ray then a cast, you will receive an after care appointment, you’ll be checked on a few weeks down the line and might also be offered physiotherapy! It’s ridiculous that the care is worlds apart. Surely your mind is more important than a leg?!

I have been on waiting list after waiting list. I’ve had my name ‘lost’ on the waiting list so had to start again from the beginning. I have been told that after months of waiting that they no longer offer the therapy I was on a waiting list for but they can put on a different waiting list!!!

I am a positive person. Even in my blogs, as unhappy and dark as they sometimes are I always try my hardest to end on a positive note.

Although, in this case I am finding it very difficult to be honest. I have gone past the point where I am upset by it and I am now just incredibly angry that people are let down like this!

I suppose the positive in this case is that I am not going to stop telling my story. I am going to keep on fighting until I see a change. I will see a change.

It is 2019! We can’t allow people with mental health issues to be treated this way any longer!

Stay strong and stay safe.

Lots of love,

Amy xxx

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2 Comments

  • Reply Pamela Stocks

    Hi Amy, yes you are right that yours is not an isolated case. I’m having similar issues. The latest in a long line of the unbelievable … I am also physically disabled (not related to my mental issues). To get to their appointments I need wheelchair assistance. There are a list of other physical issues that I won’t bore you with, but that have been fully explained to them bu myself and my husband. Their answer: if I can’t turn up for appointments when they dictate, then they’ll just discharge me. It is blatant discrimination and it is disgusting.

    February 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Ebony

    I’ve never really felt like there was much help when it comes to mental illness. I’ve been to so many different psychiatrists and therapists and most of them were just terrible. My last two therapists were completely unempathetic and never seemed to listen to anything i said. The one before that had compassion and listened but i was seeing her for a year and made no progress because all our session were just a repeat of the last. She never really did anything… I even had one psychiatrist drive me to anorexia because a medication i had been taking made me gain a lot of weight and she kept making comments about how i was fat. And then when i became severely underweight she actually praised me saying how i looked good! It’s gotten to the point where I’m feeling pretty hopeless. I need help but don’t know how to actually get help that’s good…

    February 21, 2019 at 6:35 pm
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