The Careless Emergency Mental Health Crisis Team – Somerset Partnership

Mental Health Crisis Team

I’m writing this post after much debate again.  As always, I worry about causing myself or family embarrassment.  At the same time, I hate the idea of other people feeling the way I do and not feeling comfortable enough to speak out about it.

Somerset Partnership really are failing some people.  It’s not okay.

The “Emergency” Mental Health Crisis Team

There were many calls made to the emergency health team once on my behalf from MrLovely and a couple from myself.  During the midst of one of the worst panic attacks of my life, the woman at the end of the phone told me to sit down and meditate.  How, on Earth, are you supposed to be calm enough to meditate in the midst of a panic attack?!  That’s like telling an asthmatic to just breathe.  It took five days for them to get back to me about an urgent question regarding medication and its dosage.

phone hanging

Medication

It’s been three weeks since my last post about my mental health.  Following on from this post, I’m taking 20mg of citalopram daily and between 2-6mg of diazepam each day.  At night, I take 25mg of hydroxyzine (or sometimes 7.5mg of zopiclone) to help me sleep.  Hydroxyzine is an anti histamine which has a sedative effect so it really helps.    My decision to start taking citalopram wasn’t under the guidance of either a GP or a psychiatrist.  The GP said he couldn’t prescribe them and told me I needed to speak to the emergency mental health team or a psychiatrist.  Trying to speak to a psychiatrist from our local mental health team one is like trying to get a personal phone call from the Pope!

Locum Psychiatrist

Unfortunately, my regular psychiatrist is off sick at the moment.  Following from our last appointment, it seems he didn’t update the system with notes from my appointment, nor make a note of his next appointment with me.

I received a phone call from a locum psychiatrist a week later from my desperate initial call to the emergency mental health services.  A week…  A week after that, the locum psychiatrist visited my home.  He spoke at me for about an hour about medication, recommended a book for me to read and contradicted everything my usual psychiatrist and GP tells me regarding medication.  I really struggled with disassociating and staying focused on what he was saying and it left me feeling even more desperate and completely confused about medication when that wasn’t what I felt I needed help with.

Failing

If I’d been in a car crash, I would have received immediate medical attention and my ailments would have been taken seriously and tended to, with haste.  My panic attacks and anxiety were at levels that I couldn’t cope with.  I didn’t want to continue.  This means there was a threat to life, so where was the help?  Oh, “go and meditate”.  Right.  Thanks then.  I’m alive today because my mum was here with me and didn’t leave me alone.

So, Somerset Partnership, you might want to edit this webpage and actually tell people the truth.  If you’re having a crisis – tough luck!  Meditate and jog on!  Maybe they’ll get back to you in a couple of week…

11 Comments

  • Reply September 10, 2017

    milbhp

    This is disgusting nobody should be ignored or left feeling there is nothing for them , no help available or that they do not matter THE CARELESS EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS TEAM – SOMERSET PARTNERSHIP really need to look at their practices this must improve

  • Reply September 10, 2017

    Wayne

    It is yet one more nail of failure in the coffin which is the mental health service n this country. Year after year we are told that more money will be invested, more doctors will be available, its all tosh! The simple fact of the matter is the powers that be believe that if you can’t see it, it’s not real….. hmm Mental health is only mentioned when someone of public stance has a problem, then it’s yes we will endeavor to improve our services blah blah blah. Wake up and shake up!

  • Reply September 10, 2017

    five little doves

    Gosh this is just shocking, although it shouldn’t surprise me as, as someone who has had mental health issues for the last twenty years, I have been failed repeatedly too. I have actually lost countless friends to suicide over the years who have been failed time and time again. It saddens me that these so called emergency crisis teams cannot provide the help needed. I really hope you’re okay. xx

  • Reply September 10, 2017

    Kira

    I can relate to this . Sending love x

  • Reply September 11, 2017

    Julie

    Dear Writer,

    I am responding to your post on behalf of the Patient Advice and Liaison Team at Somerset Partnership. I was very sorry and saddened to read of your experience in relation to the emergency mental health crises team.

    If you would like to contact us so that we can assist in whatever way we can then please do get in touch either by phone on 01278 432022 or by e-mail: pals@sompar.nhs.uk

    We would very much like to hear from you

  • Reply September 15, 2017

    Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs

    I’m really sorry to hear that you were absolutely failed. The lack of care in your story is absolutel shocking. Your mum on the other hand is an absolute star!

  • Reply September 15, 2017

    Ger

    Seems to be the same whether you’re a child or adult.
    I’m so sorry to read this.
    I can relate far more than I’d like to.
    Thinking of you x

  • Reply September 16, 2017

    Rachel @ The Daisy Pages

    That’s terrible treatment for you to have to go through, as if the panic attacks aren’t enough. It’s so fortunate that you have a loving family around you. I hope you can get some support from the team now x

  • Reply September 17, 2017

    jenni

    I am sorry that you have experienced such a terrible service from a team that is supposed to be helping you. I am however glad that you have felt you are able to share this experience with everyone as mental health isn’t a walk in the park I know, and people need to be aware. I hope you are now getting the support you need xx

  • Reply September 17, 2017

    Katie Halsall

    Oh I’m sorry to hear you’ve experienced such a mess from what are supposed to be helpful medical services! It’s disappointing that in 2017 mental health is still so misunderstood, and not seen as high of a priority compared to as you say, something more physical and obvious. Hope you’ve managed to speak to someone properly now!

  • Reply September 18, 2017

    Vanessa

    Oh this is terrible! Very close to my heart at the moment, as lost a friend to a battle with mental health this year. Please keep fighting for the right care, I pray that someone truly listens to you and that you find light at the end of this tunnel.

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