I know mental health services in this country are under pressure. I get that, I really do. I feel for the doctors who are struggling to do their job under extremely difficult circumstances. But as a patient of these services?? It is just not good enough. End of story. I’m under the care of a consultant psychiatrist in the public health system (we’ve long since given up trying to afford private health care) and have been for the last two years. Granted, when things reached crisis point, I was taken care of, and for that I am sincerely grateful. But since then?

Since then has been a string of registrars and medication changes and a total lack of consistency. Today I am at my desk, in tears, shaking with anger at yet another public health care fuck up. Apologies for swearing but I’m incredibly angry and frustrated, and I need to get it out of my system or this will be the trigger for a fantastic spiral. I can’t let that happen. So why the frustration? Well after waiting four weeks to hear about my next appointment, I contacted the secretary to enquire about when I would be seen again. She politely informed me I had in fact missed an appointment the previous Tuesday. It would have been so helpful if I’d actually been notified of that appointment. Anyway, she rescheduled for today, and I duly trotted over at the appointed time, armed with a good book and expecting to wait up to an hour. What I hadn’t expected was to see a full waiting room, and after over an hour to be told there were still four people ahead of me. Each appointment, in my experience, takes around half an hour. That’s another two hours waiting minimum, assuming she works through lunch. Completely and totally unacceptable, and more to the point, untenable. I took time out of work to be there. I’m now having to take time to calm myself down so I can function this afternoon. I appreciate she was caught up in an emergency, I appreciate emergencies happen. But surely, surely there should be a contingency plan in place??

I’m only one person, and this is just my perspective, but this is how I see mental health services in this country.

Mental health services in this country are at breaking point. The staff are suffering. The patients are most definitely suffering. People need help. I need help. Thankfully, I’m reasonably well at the moment, but not being able to rely on the very service that’s there to keep me that way is far from helpful. What about the people who are in a worse state than me?? Something has to give, somewhere. I may need to write a strongly worded letter.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Fiona. It really is terrible that people can't get the help when they need it,peoples mental health needs to be nurtured and protected as much as there physical health. Stay strong,your an inspiration to lots of people,especially me:-) PS as for you're troll,as hard as it is,try to ignore them. You're strength and bravery are showing up their own insecurities.

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