"mental health and lack of services available"

About: Tees, Esk And Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust / Crisis resolution

(as the patient),

I have had problems with mental health for around 8 years on and off. I recently have come down with a really bad episode of depression and suicide thoughts.

The suicide thoughts have become extremely difficult to control, I have been to the GP numerous times in the last 3 months, trying to get hold of help. In the last 3 months I have been in contact with the crisis team twice, both times expressing very strongly that I feel as bad as I do with suicide thoughts. They are aware that I have the means and a plan to attempt suicide. Both times they have let me walk away feeling as bad as I do. Last time I was told that it would be a shame as I'm only young....I felt extremely patronised and left very angry and upset that my cries for help were so clearly being ignored.

I am now at a stage where I am struggling greatly on a daily basis, but fear using the systems we have in place as I feel again I would be ignored, and to be sent away again, with a sentence as patronising as that again, I wouldn't be able to cope with.

I am extremely disappointed with the mental health services that are available in my area. Even the mental health worker I have been referred to can't do regular appointments. This is an illness that is exceptionally difficult to handle at the best of times, but it feels like the mental health services have the same stigmas attached with then as everyone else.

I need help, I've admitted that, I have struggled to accept and admit I need help, but now I am, it feels like I'm taking 1 step forward and 5 steps back. what more help can I get?

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Response from Corinne Aspel, Lead Senior Nurse – Patient Experience, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

This post has just been brought to my attention as the patient and carer experience lead for Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundations Trust and I would firstly like to apologise for this significant delay in responding to your concerns.

I am very sorry that you had difficultly accessing mental health services at the time you most needed them and that your experience was poor in this respect. Whilst some time has passed since you expressed these concerns I would still welcome the opportunity for us to learn from your experience and would be very happy to speak to you about this. My contact details are Corinne Aspel Lead Nurse Patient and Carer Experience telephone 01913333566 e mail corinne.aspel@nhs.net

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