"Felt guilty asking for help"

About: Coathill Hospital / General Psychiatry

(as a service user),

I now feel confident enough to tell this story.

I attended CAMHS for a few years until around 2018. I struggled a lot with depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety.  I am a very shy girl. The nurse I was speaking to would get very impatient with me. I once told them I was feeling suicidal at that moment, and they said that neither of us could leave until I say I'm fine. I felt that the notes were written to make it look like there was progress. 

There was also a psychiatrist that was completely rude and I felt was mocking me. Their words still hurt me to this day. I was to have an appointment to discuss medication as I was just going down hill. I noticed that the manners and body language used didn't seem caring or professional at all. I talked about my suicide attempts, which were happening around 2-3 times a week. At my description of one of my attempts, the staff member was extremely dismissive and rolled their eyes. Then told me that I must not have wanted to do it if I ended up phoning someone for help, which I felt was hinting that I was doing it for attention. About the medication, said that no medication will stop you from doing what I had done, referring to the suicide attempt that had not been taken seriously. I already knew anti-depressants didn't work that way, which I kept saying. 

A  while later, I had attempted again and ended up in the A&E, when the nurse was reading my notes from CAMHS, it had said I had been seeking attention, this is the last thing I wanted people to think about me. I had started to believe these things and felt guilty asking for help. 

A while after turning 18, I started with adult mental health services. There is such a huge difference to the level of care provided here. They were fantastic with me and I actually felt listened to. 

From noticing this big difference and have experienced what I did at CAMHS, I am now studying to become a nurse. I just hope that the staff from CAMHS realise why they are here and re-evaluate their work ethics. You should never treat someone that way, especially people who feel vulnerable.


Response from Laura Jack, Service Improvement Manager – Paediatrics & CAMHS, Paediatrics and CAMHS, NHS Lanarkshire last week
Laura Jack
Service Improvement Manager – Paediatrics & CAMHS, Paediatrics and CAMHS,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 16/11/2020 at 15:11
Published on Care Opinion at 15:11

picture of Laura Jack

Dear M-2000,

Thank you so much for making contact with us about CAMHS.

I was so sorry when I read about your experience and that you found interactions with staff to be difficult and that indeed that these experiences have stayed with you for such a long time. I can only imagine how difficult this was for you and also how hard this must e to raise now.

I'm sure that I'm not alone in saying that I'm sorry that you felt this way, particularly when accessing services that are there to reassure you, help and keep you safe.

We would be keen to hear more about your time with CAMHS so that we can look into this more for you and where possible make any service improvements we can as well as share your thoughts anonymously with staff.

We do have a complaints procedure which is in place to ensure that as an organisation we listen and learn from any feedback we receive, however this formal process only allows us to formally investigate concerns that have arisen within the last 6-12 months.

That said, we would be more than happy to look into what happened, your notes and how this made you feel, in an effort to help in anyway we can, for you and for others in the future.

if you feel you want to do this, you can contact myself directly at:


or by phone: 01355 597 438

Thanks again and I look forward to chatting to you by email or phone.


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