"Helping me address the problems of living with a long term condition"

About: Orkney Alcohol Counselling and Advisory Service

(as a service user),

I was referred by a GP to the Community Mental Health when struggling with depression secondary to the symptoms and treatment of a chronic autoimmune disease. It took a long time for this team to respond and when they did they informed my GP that there was nothing they could offer me and suggested the GP tried anti-depressants. As my problems were largely due to drug intolerances this was pretty unhelpful advice which frustrated us both.

So instead I was referred to a local counseling charity. It took a while for the first appointment to take place but ever since then I've received very good, regular support and it has helped me to cope with the uncertainties and address some longstanding issues which may or may not have contributed to my physiological issues. I am very grateful that this service exists because, prior to this counseling, I was in a pretty bad way.

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Responses

Response from Simon Gordon, Orkney Alcohol and Counselling Service

Dear RAreone

I am glad we could help.

I think this story illustrates how OACAS fills a gap in local health provision.

You tried the CMHT, but felt (rightly, as it turned out) that talking therapy, rather than more medication, was your better option.

I am concerned that it took a while for us to offer a first appointment. This is because we are at the moment quite stretched by demand - but we always aim to respond as quickly as possible to all new referrals.

Best wishes for the future.

Simon Gordon, Manager.

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