This was posted today on Facebook by Paula Peters.
“I want to share a couple of experiences of the mental health services cuts with you today.
I have a local CMHT ( community mental health team) in south London, we had three CMHTs it went down to two, and the discharge rate in the last four years is massive. You will only stay under a CMHT if you are on Clozapine medication, other than that you are back to primary care and GP. You can imagine for clients, as the team calls them, what that does for them with no treatment, no support and no supporting medical evidence needed for (disability benefits) ESA and PIP and support for UC (universal Credit) Claims. My local A and E is rammed with suicidal residents going to A and E as they have no where to go, and local counseling services have an 18 month and longer wait for therapy. The average wait to see a GP in some practices in Bromley is now 8 weeks and climbing. as not only is there a shortage of consultant psychiatrists, but, there is a shortage of GPs.
Just recently, i saw my local consultant psychiatrist who I have not seen since October 2016. I have not been able to see them because they have been on sick leave and there was no one else to help out. I found out when I saw them, what happened.
They now manage two teams within the CMHT, psychosis and adapt. They have 5,000 clients to deal with, appointments and paperwork. That does not include dr training, management of staff, in patient work on the local unit and any other work required of them.
At Christmas they were so tired and wrung out that they caught their bag in a slam door in the office that severely broke their wrist. They did not know the wrist was broken at the time and they went back to the desk they share with 6 other members of staff and wrote up 7 people’s medical notes as they were behind on doing so.
They ended up in A and E for 9 hours and a plaster cast on and off for the next 8 months after a series of operations. They were so stressed when I saw them they were at breaking point.
All they talked about was targets targets targets. Many of them unachieveable and they pointed out the three people going around with clipboards harassing staff. Apparently the next round of redundancies were due. They said they are not sleeping, scared and worried about their jobs and worried about clients who are not getting the support they need.
They cant send anyone for treatment at the local inpatient unit because well there are no beds for 300 miles there are nursing shortages and dr shortages.
When I saw my consultant they said the suicide rate and self harm rate is rocketing due to lack of support. They are angry at the government for the lack of service support and further cuts to come.
As for me, well i am on my third support worker in 9 months. They keep leaving. They are so stressed and depressed am surprised they don’t label the place the titanic!
The support worker who i will only see for six sessions is not sure when she will see me next as she has 1200 clients to see. She is not sure if she is sticking around either. As i need continuity of care with GP i cant get a GP appointment right now she is off sick and they are not sure when she is coming back and the other GP has no openings on the appointment book until December, they can’t get a locum as there is a shortage of those and many of them are engaged elsewhere in the coming weeks.
The cuts to mental health services are claiming lives, putting lives at risk, not just the patients, but the staff too. Patients are being denied the support they so need to get through each day. There is no support available and no good going to local MINDs as it is all work is a health outcome and jog your way through depression which is not helpful to anyone with a severe mental health condition and in serious mental distress.
The person needs support and compassion not to be told they are a burden, told its all their fault and get back to work as soon as possible.
Before you donate to a local mental health charity check first they are not involved in the health and work programme, they do not employ staff and zero hours contracts and they are not bidding for local council and DWP contracts. If they are avoid them, because they are not working for claimants in mental distress but against them. National Mind being paramount to working and colluding with national government and DWP on health and work programme contracts who think if we go out jogging we can jog our way through depression and anxiety and if we think ourselves better, we will be better.
Here is my response to MIND – jog on what utter bollox! If i could jog my way out of depression, and having RA and fibro and HMS its out of the question I would have done it by now and think better and everything will be well?
No, with a tory government and national charities working with them and they persecuting people in mental distress as well as disabled people everything is not well. Its a bloody mess and people are taking their own lives.
We need to talk about this every day, not one day a year because the cuts are going to get worse and with the UC roll out accelerating the deaths and poverty will go through the roof too.
this was posted in the comments:
“I know 3 people who rang crisis team for help as they felt suicidal, one was recently an inpatient after an attempt 2 had both made attempts in the past year, they were all told they would only get help if they attempted suicide. Very sadly, one did and is no longer with us 😦 Those of us who are working in mental health are doing so with not enough resources and far too little time and many of us are becoming unwell too”
If you are having dark thoughts yourself please contact the Samaritans on their free number (free for mobiles, too) 116 123.