"CAMHS Thorneywood and support for the whole family"

About: Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – Community(County)

(as the patient),

I have suffered from a depressive illness and anxiety over the past five years. This has been treated with SSRI medication.

At the beginning of this year my daughter began to have some difficulties and was referred to the CAMHS service at Thorneywood Nottingham.

During the following few months as her condition worsened, so too did my depression/anxiety. Unlike previous episodes my sleep deteriorated dramatically and didn't improve with an increase in the anti depressant medication. This resulted in me becoming dependent on sleeping medication and sometimes self harm.

Unfortunately the previous year my longstanding GP of 14 years had taken early retirement and I had yet to build a trusting relationship with another GP. I was at an all time low and struggling to manage my work and family commitments. Although I am lucky enough to have an extremely supportive partner I found it very difficult to confide in him the extent of my problems. The situation was also exacerbated by members of my extended family, who were unable to accept my diagnosis of depression.

My daughter and I were seeing a specialist nurse therapist (Liz) from CAMHS on a regular basis and some of these sessions I attended on my own.

I will be forever grateful for this time that she gave me and her reassuring and non-judgmental manner. Although I felt guilty about using this time to talk about myself, she gave me constant reassurance that the well being of myself and the family as a whole was of crucial importance.

She went out of her way to provide her support on a regular basis, in spite of what I believe to be an ever increasing work load and the related pressures.

Through these one to one sessions I was gradually able to open up to her and with her support approach my GP and ask for a psychiatric referral- something I should have done a long time ago.

Throughout the following weeks Liz continued to support myself and other family members and this included a couple of sessions with the family as a whole. It is without a doubt that this support and guidance has been the catalyst for change in myself and family as a whole. I can't begin to imagine how things may have deteriorated without this help.

Sadly other health professionals I have dealt with have not proved to be of such a high standard. These have included a GP who described me as a 'junkie' when I went to pick up a prescription for sleep medication which had been faxed to him from my psychiatrist. He was however very reluctant to prescribe it as he believed his 'personal reputation as a doctor was at stake'.

Another GP obviously lacking in sensitivity and empathy, talked of 'much worse depression' that would require ECT treatment, as opposed to what she described was my 'mild' illness. She also answered the phone during a consultation, as well as working her way through a pile of prescriptions that required her signature.

Our journey to better mental health continues, as does the excellent support from the team at CAMHS Thorneywood. My heartfelt thanks goes out to our fantastic nurse specialist Liz, who I hope will continue this journey with us for as long as is necessary.

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Responses

Response from Samantha Sykes, CAMHS Operational Manager / Clinical Nurse Specialist, Head 2 Head Team., Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Samantha Sykes

We are so very pleased to hear that input from your Nurse at CAMHS has been helpful. Liz is very experienced and works hard to make sure that the families she works with have support and help so that they can make changes to their lives and circumstances.

Your thanks mean a lot to her and to the service as a whole.

We all wish you the very best on the journey that you are on we are reassured to know that in Liz you found the right CAMHS worker to fit with you and your family. Best Wishes.

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