""Mental health" can be a hurtful term"

About: NHS Fife

(as the patient),

Two people from the elderly mental health Services in Kirkcaldy came to see me, I think it was because my doctor had referred me to them. The ladies were nice enough, they were very mannerly and all and I do not have any complaints about them.

However, I was rather taken aback that they were from the Elderly Mental Health Services. The ‘elderly’ bit I can understand as I’m in my 80s it’s the ‘mental’ bit I found very hurtful. I am still very sharp in my mind and this has worried me – I don’t want to be locked away in a home somewhere.

My wife is in a care home as she has dementia and I go to see her every day. This means I don’t always have time to look after myself but that does not mean I have a mental problem. People don’t seem to understand how hurtful it can be to be assessed for ‘mental’ health. Nor did I see the need for it.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Clearer 314

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience and specifically the concerns you have about the terms being used. I was sorry to hear about your wife's situtation, it must be difficult for you having to visit her daily in an environment away from home. I hope you do manage to find time for yourself in the day also. It does sound like the GP has been worried about you and asked for an assessment to be carried out; however I would be happy to talk to you about it if that would be helpful. I appreciate that people do not wish to be labelled and I know that medical terminology can mean different things to different people but please be assured staff will have had your best interests at heart. Please give me a phone if you would like to talk this through a little more.


Louise Ewing

01592 648069

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