4th Dec, 2020

'Worcestershire's mental health system needs major overhaul'

Tristan Harris 9th Oct, 2020 Updated: 9th Oct, 2020

A WOMAN who has battled emotionally unstable personality disorder for years has called for an overhaul of the mental health system after feeling she is not getting the support she needs.

The 41-year-old from Droitwich has taken several overdoses in the past year and said she has stopped calling the Worcestershire Crisis Team as last time they asked her to ‘define what a crisis was’ which led to her feeling frustrated and hanging up.

She said he was often forced to abandon any hope of help from the NHS and ended up calling charities, such as the Samaritans, instead.

Her comments come ahead of tomorrow’s World Mental Health Day.

She said: “I don’t expect anyone to do everything for me but I do think I and others in my situation who want support deserve some help.

“But it just feels like no-one gives a damn and some of these people employed in mental health roles are not suitable for them.”

The woman has held down responsible full-time jobs when she has been well and is currently trying to find work.

She has also changed her GP as she said staff at her previous surgery did not seem to care or want to help.

She is currently relying on cash from her parents to fund Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT), aimed at helping people understand and accept difficult feelings, learn skills to manage them and make positive changes in their lives.

But the sessions do not come cheap and she feels this could be her last chance to put herself right.

“There really needs to be changes because there must be loads of people in my situation.

“The idea of a crisis team is to help you out when you are in crisis but sometimes it seems you are just left to your own devices.”

A spokesperson for the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, responsible for the county’s mental health services, said: “We can’t comment on individual circumstances however we would like to ensure any concerns are formally recorded and investigated in line with our procedures.”

People are urged to raise concerns through the Patient Relations Team (PALs) via email at WHCNHS.PALS@nhs.net or by calling 01905 681517.

“It is important to reassure people the feedback we get for our mental health services is overwhelmingly positive, and anyone in Worcestershire or Herefordshire experiencing mental health issues should contact us to access help and support at the earliest opportunity.”

Research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists this week showed two-fifths of mental health patients waiting for treatment were forced to resort to emergency or crisis services, with 11 per cent ending up in A&E.

People’s mental wellbeing has also been severely impacted on by the Coronavirus lockdown.

Following that report the British Medical Association’s mental health policy lead Dr Andrew Molodynski said: “Mental health care has for a long time been in desperate need of more funding and resources – the impact of the pandemic means this sadly looks like it is going from bad to worse.

“These findings confirm some of our worst fears – that those who were already struggling with mental health conditions are now reaching crisis point as a result of being unable to access timely treatment.

“It is not right that these patients have no choice but to seek emergency care and it is a potentially fatal trajectory for many vulnerable patients who may turn to suicide before they get the intervention they need.

“The BMA has for a long time been calling for mental health services to be given funding and resources equal to that of physical health provision.”

He called on the Government to increase the capacity of crucial mental health services to ensure vulnerable patients received the care they needed as a matter of urgency.

  • Have you had experience of Worcestershire’s Mental Health Services? Has your experience been positive? Send us your views to editor@bromsgrovestandard.co.uk

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