I had been depressed for some time and was encouraged to seek treatment. My GP advised me to call the NHS mental health referral line, and they were excellent – quick and caring telephone assessment and rapid referral for CBT. I received a letter summarising that I had been assessed as severely depressed.
At the appointment, however, the practitioner appeared very inexperienced. In the first appointment they didn’t explain the process or what CBT is. The practitioner wanted to give me reading material, but the photocopier wasn’t working so the practitioner said they would email it. I never got it. Halfway through the second appointment the practitioner told me that they didn’t feel that they had the experience to provide me with treatment and said they would ask they supervisor if they could refer me to a more experienced practitioner. I got a call from them about a week later saying that the referral had been approved, but that it would take six to eight months on a waiting list. They did not ask me I was somewhere I could talk (I wasn’t), did not ask me how I was feeling or if I was going to be okay. They did not provide me with any alternatives to waiting or even give me suggestions for what I could do if I needed help in the interim (telephone hotlines, etc.).
In short, a really unsatisfying outcome. It amazes me that, having been assessed as severely depressed, and after acknowledging that I need experienced treatment, to wait for support from the NHS would mean nearly a year from the time of first looking for help to actually getting treatment.