"Mentally Unwell & Unable To Move On"

About: Specialist mental health services / Psychological therapies

(as the patient),

I am a young adult who is mentally unwell, yet I am getting denied treatment because of funding and the people who control the money..let me call them the suits.

My diagnosis is a dual one, I have not one or two things wrong with me but four. I have gotten into this situation NOT through my own bad decisions in life, I was mistreated.

I NEED long term therapy but can not get it because there is only one therapist in the area, who I believe is overworked and is fighting hard to keep their job.

After a failed try at CAT (Cognitive Analytic Therapy), which later on with a new CPN I got told was the wrong therapy, I got told that long term therapy was better but the problem was it can take a long time as there is only one person doing it.

Luck for me I got an appointment with a trainee however I felt like they did not understand it was for long term therapy as I was only offered a maximum of four months.

I am under the age of 25, in the adult service but yet this has become my life as the one thing that I need to move me on in life is not available.

In my view the funding is going, and shows no signs of ever returning. The psych wards are getting smaller or going completely. The front-line workers seem overstretched and I think they're finding it hard to fulfil the work they need to do. Far too many suits make the decisions without any real knowledge of what works best in a mental health environment.

The hearing voices group is constantly fighting for the room we need, but the suits will take it over for training, conferences or even tribunals as it is the only space large enough, especially as Home Treatment got the other large space for their office.

I WANT to make a contribution to society. I WANT to do more with my life. I WANT to get an education.

However I cannot, it feels because the money is not there.

What options do I have left?!

I am mentally unwell, unable to be within society, there are no other options left for me other than long-term therapy but this is not viable, it will take many more months even years of waiting...if it even comes at all.

Someone please listen, comment, complain. I feel we cannot keep laying down and watch the service disappear in front of our eyes.

Lets put what is a very large foot down on the floor and demand the care that we deserve.

Because it is mental health, it seems to me they know that people will not complain because they often can not face confrontation.

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Responses

Response from Karen Howard-Grenville, PALS, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments.

We are saddened to hear of your distress.

We offer a range of psychological therapies in the Trust, and we have been working hard to ensure waiting times are short. People are seen within 18 weeks at present and that will soon drop to 12. We would like to reassure you that we value all of our psychological therapists and psychologists, and that none of them are in a position of having to fight for their jobs. Finding the right therapy for the right people can be a complicated process and without knowing you and your specific difficulties it is not possible to comment upon where things have gone wrong. We also very much support the work that the Hearing Voices Group do, and we know this is something that many service users find helpful. Again, without knowing the full situation, we cannot comment on the specific difficulties you refer to. Our service users lie at the heart of our decision-making and I am sorry that this has not felt like your experience.

The Heads of Psychological Therapies would be more than happy to discuss your experience with you in person, and with your care coordinator if you would like; and we would want to work hard to ensure that you are able to access the right therapy, and to address any difficulties the Hearing Voices Group is having.

Karen Howard-Grenville, PALS Officer, would be happy to arrange this. She can be contacted on Telephone number 01278 432022 or email pals@sompar.nhs.uk

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Update posted by InvisibleButLoud (the patient)

Hello,

I have emailed you to take you up on the above offer of a meeting.

I must say though, your view that people are seen by the psychological therapies team within the 18 weeks does not fit with my experience or I believe that of others.

Myself and others have said that the average time it takes to actually receive therapy is 18 months, so way off the 18 weeks you are speaking of.

You may think that my original story is just my experience but unfortunately this is many others experiences too. I am part a forum for voice hearers and I also regularly use another forum and most people I have spoken too are having the same problems.

Like I said in my original complaint though people do not speak up because they hate confrontation.

Thank you for the reply and I look forward to the meeting.

InvisibleButLoud.

Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk

'Someone please listen' Hi invisiblebutloud: Thank you for posting on this site. I promise that lots of people ARE listening and take your experience very seriously. I work for the Somerset Local Involvement Network (Somerset LINk) - you can find out more about us at somersetlink. The Somerset LINk aims to give patients a louder voice when it comes to feeding back their concerns about services - particularly gaps in services. If patients tell us that there are problems or gaps in services, we can look into this on their behalf and we don't need to identify anyone. If you'd like more info or would like to tell us more about your experiences then please email me I will be happy to help. We are currently looking into mental health service users' issues, in particular, how service users can become more involved in having their say about mental health services and how they work in Somerset. We really believe that patients are the experts when it comes to knowing about services and how they can work better, and we'd really love to hear from you. Best wishes and good luck.
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Update posted by InvisibleButLoud (the patient)

Well I had the meeting and all went well.

Only time will tell how successful it really was.

I want to just say that the part in my orinialy post about the therapist was meant in a general term, in that a lot of therapists in the country are in that situation.

Within the meeting I was informed that the therapists have employment and are not fighting to keep their jobs.

Response from Karen Howard-Grenville, PALS, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. It was good to be able to hear directly of your experiences within our Trust at both a general and a personal level, and to be able to reassure you that we are not losing any of our therapy staff. We were able to discuss your concerns about your future treatment options, and to find a way forwards together that I hope will feel more satisfactory for you. I very much respect the open and articulate way in which you expressed yourself, and I will make sure that your feedback informs our ongoing work to improve how we work with all our service users. I would be happy to meet again should you feel that would be helpful for you at any point. Liz Fawkes, Joint Head of Psychological Therapies.

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