"Trying to access help"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Adult Mental Health Services

(as other),

My partner has suffered from mental health issues for over 20 years and has in the past been prescribed antidepressants via his G. P. He has suffered from distinct mood swings in the twenty years I have known him but has predominantly been depressed and only previously accessed services when depressed. Our teenage daughter was hospitalised last year and diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder and with it being very likely that my partner also has the same condition I persuaded him to access psychiatric services as he was becoming quite unwell in the hope he would get the help he very much needed.

This turned out to be an extremely difficult and energy consuming process as he has been seen by four different psychiatrists in five appointments at Cumbernauld all of whom have had different opinions as to what his diagnosis is and who have prescribed different treatments. None of the doctors seen have spoken English as a first language which has led to communication issues in regards to a basic understanding of his current situation and the problems he has experienced.

He has been extremely depressed which considering our daughter is currently in hospital again is a very difficult situation to deal with as each affects the other and we also have a son with Autism. He desperately wishes to be well and is trying all of the self help techniques we have learned with our daughter but he requires the correct medication to function properly as he is feeling suicidal. He was prescribed antidepressants in December and informed that he would not be seen for three months.

Previously I spent a full day on the phone being passed from pillar to post trying to get him a sooner appointment as his condition had deteriorated and had to wait ten days for a G. P appointment where he was then referred back to psychiatric services which took weeks.

If you are seriously depressed you do not have the energy or motivation to seek help and when that help turns out to be well below the standard that might be expected it is devastating not just for the person concerned but also their immediate family.

Bipolar II is not easily recognised and my partner urgently requires a full assessment by someone who specialises in Bipolar disorder and I despair of him actually getting that help as the current system can only be described as awful.

I am going to try and access help once more tomorrow but I am also going to contact the Mental Welfare Commission as I feel that the services experienced should be of a better standard than is currently available.

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Response from Laura Jack, Patient Affairs Manager, Primary Care Division, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Laura Jack

Dear Darwin,

Sorry to read about the difficulties you and your family have been experiencing. Please contact me on 01698 858 292 and hopefully I can be of some help.

Many thanks


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Response from Jamie Hepburn, MSP, Jamie Hepburn's Office, MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

Dear Darwin,

I too am sorry to learn of the difficulties that you and your family have experienced. I hope that Ms Bryan is able to offer you assistance.

Likewise if you would like the assistance of my office regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My constituency office can be called on 01236 453 969 or you can email me directly at jamie.hepburn.msp@scottish.parliament.uk


Jamie Hepburn MSP

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Response from Jim Wright, General Manager, Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Service, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Darwin,

I’m glad you’ve been in touch with Laura at Patient Affairs and I’m really pleased that we have been able to re-establish links for your husband with Mental Health Services. I wish you and your family all the best for the future.

Please feel free to get in touch via Laura at any time if you need to.

Best wishes


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