"What is this thing called help?"

About: 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(as other),

Help. It is what is needed when you cannot cope alone. It is what should be provided by your health services. So why can't I get it when I cannot cope alone?

The crisis team does not seem to class suicidal feelings as a crisis. You try to ask for help when you feel like ending your life because you cannot face the days ahead because life is so painfully and unbearably difficult, almost impossible. In return you get amazingly dim suggestions like to try having a bath or going for a walk.

If I was phoning because I wanted advice on how to get rid of a headache the crisis team would work. But if you are phoning to say please help me before I throw myself in front of a lorry or off a bridge then brace yourself, as I feel it is likely you will feel that suicide is the better option.

If a member of the public walked along a bridge and ignored somebody who was about to jump off the bridge that would be shocking. Everybody would be going insane. Yet the crisis team can walk past a person who has asked for help by suggesting they take a bath and that is ignored every day of the year.

Year after year nothing changes. It might be policy that gets in their way or money or something but that isn't a valid excuse. The crisis team are dealing with people's lives and nothing should be worth more than that.

If you ask your clients you may find they have no great expectations for this team. I hope one day everything can improve but I don't think it will because I feel that if you really cared it would have improved already.

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Response from Katherine Earlam, PALS Officer, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

Dear EllEffSee,

thank you for taking the time to post a comment on the website. Feedback from people who use services in St Helens is very important and helps us to make further improvements, so they are always welcome. As the Matron for the area. I am very sorry to hear of your disappointment with the service you have received and would like to be able to help.

When you are in distress and need support especially when feeling so distraught that you feel you want to kill yourself, it takes great courage to contact services for help. However if when you contact those services you are left feeling that what was offered was of little value then this concerns me. From your post I get the feeling that this is not the first time you have contacted the team and you were less than pleased with previous responses. I regret that you do not believe things will change for the future, but would like to challenge that. As earlier stated we welcome feedback as a valuable way we can improve and deliver better services, and your contribution should be part of that change, as a Mental Health Trust we are striving all the time to be a responsive listening and learning organisation.

I would like to offer you a meeting with me at your convenience to discuss your issues. I will arrange an individual meeting where we can sit down and discuss in more detail your concerns and how I can personally review and act on them to ensure we provide a high quality service that meets your needs and expectations for future involvement.

Ian Mountain - Matron Adult Services St Helens

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