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"Adult Mental Health Service"

About: Airbles Road Centre / General Psychiatry Lanarkshire Community Services / Adult Mental Health Services Motherwell Locality / Community mental health team outreach

(as a service user),

I work for the NHS myself and champion the hard work of my colleagues regularly. However, I really feel we all have a responsibility to identify areas for improvement and areas where risk is not managed. I am really disappointed that I cannot in good faith recommend Adult Mental Health Services. I do not feel it is patient centered or safe.

I have accessed different resources within Mental Health and the 3rd Sector in attempts to manage my anxiety and depression, desperately trying to keep myself safe and well. My GP has always been a fantastic support and I do feel certain individuals on my journey have understood me, to an extent, and supported me to explore SOME aspects of my mental health and management strategies. Some of the professionals I have encountered very much appeared to have a one size fits all approach and I really struggled with that. Some professionals made careless throwaway comments which were very damaging. Unfortunately, I do not have the recall of all the names involved in my care but I do prefer to address the service as a whole.

My mind does not work in the same way as most. I struggle to visualise concepts, engage in mindfulness or use ‘grounding’ as so many other factors come into play. In honesty I feel I may present with an Autism Spectrum Disorder also and I am curious as to the different strategies that would be suggested for individuals who have difficulty with imagination, communication, sensory behaviours and rigid thinking alongside their mental health. It becomes nearly impossible to do some of the work suggested and fuels that feeling of ‘failure’ and self-loathing. I feel that some professionals did listen to some of my needs and tried to adapt ideas. However, I honestly feel that this took longer in terms of a therapy process. I feel there are ideas I want to consider but there was no time. But what if considering these with support is what I need?

Time. That became the issue. I had exceeded the agreed amount of sessions. Not agreed by me, that was never mentioned until near the end of my sessions, but agreed by the service somewhere I presume. This is abhorrent to me. Why was I not involved in decision making initially? Why am I still not? I felt like I was told this is what is happening. How can sessions end when I don’t feel equipt to safely manage my own risk? I have taken a nose dive into hell over the Christmas period and on my last session was lying in darkness, breaking my heart in fear of what I might do to myself. In fear of not being aware of who to get help from. I was told to call the Samaritans? I’m trying to manage a risk with the professional support that has been given to me and I felt worthless. How on earth am I meant to contact a complete stranger? Someone who does not know or understand me? It took huge amounts of energy and trust to access all that I have accessed. The thought of engaging with a stranger about anything terrifies me but to call a stranger and bare my soul. I don’t want to firefight. I want to develop a better understanding of myself and be able to manage my risk and the impact of this horror with increasing independence. Not just be left to deal with it because I’ve exceeded the number of sessions decided by the service. I cannot see how this is patient centred or safe. Where is my wellbeing in all of this? What if I did damage that I can’t take back? What if this now makes me lose faith in all the work that has been done or opt out in the future?

I also want to comment on failure to attend. I have always had feedback that I am an individual who engages well and wants to make changes. I think it’s exceptionally important to be patient centred and consider the impact of these difficulties on my ability to always attend a session. Sometimes I literally couldn’t move myself from my bed to the bathroom; yet I am “not engaging” if I missed a session on those days. Language like that again actually made my mental health deteriorate. I’m trying desperately but it’s still not good enough. I know that in my own service we consider each circumstance individually and look at that holistically. I feel so disappointed to have not had the same care, especially in a service where fragility, safety and mental health are at the core.

The services I have accessed are CPN (excellent professional), Psychiatry (difficult professional), Crisis support from various CPNs (very mixed experience) and psychology (nice professional but hugely concerned at the way the service works as described).

Responses

Response from Dr Gary Tanner, Director of Psychological Services, NHS Lanarkshire last month
Dr Gary Tanner
Director of Psychological Services,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 20/01/2021 at 10:54
Published on Care Opinion at 10:54


picture of Dr Gary Tanner

Dear lanpatient

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience of Mental Health Services. We always welcome such feedback, as it gives us an opportunity to look at our services from different perspectives.

I am particularly keen to speak with you in relation to your comments about Psychological Services. If you would like to get in touch, my email address is gary.tanner@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk, and we could then arrange a time to talk on the phone.

Best wishes

Gary

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by lanpatient (a service user)

Hello Gary,

Unfortunately I do not feel I have the capacity to manage a phone call. I feel I have detailed my concerns quite specifically via this forum in hopes to be heard, inspire change and for these to be addressed openly.

Kind Regards

Response from Dr Gary Tanner, Director of Psychological Services, NHS Lanarkshire last month
Dr Gary Tanner
Director of Psychological Services,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 25/01/2021 at 21:16
Published on Care Opinion at 21:16


picture of Dr Gary Tanner

That's perfectly understandable. Thanks again for your feedback.

Best wishes

Gary

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Response from Patricia Kearns, North Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership last month
Patricia Kearns
North Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership
Submitted on 28/01/2021 at 12:48
Published on Care Opinion at 16:03


Dear Lanpatient

I understand how difficult your situation is, and how this can make your feel. There are advocacy servcices available to you in North Lanarkshire - they can be your voice if you don't feel up to negotiating with services. The contact e mail for the manager of the North Lanarkshire Advocacy Project is: sam@equalsay.org

I truly hope that you get the support that you need.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by lanpatient (a service user)

Thank you so much for a kind, empathetic response which considers my needs Patricia. I feel like you have actually listened to me.

I'm really disappointed in the previous response. I feel it highlights my concerns about the service; not once has empathy been shown and sadly I've been dismissed and my clearly outlined points have not been addressed. I see many other managers feedback via this platform, recognising the needs of the individual who has contacted in this way. I feel that I've been dismissed when something didn't work for me again. One size does not fit all and for someone who works in mental health I did honestly expect some understanding around this and an attempt to demonstrate empathy and consider alternatives. Instead no comment was offered which ended the conversation.

I'm eager to inspire change within this service and hopefully allow services to learn that everyone has different needs. I've had a really upsetting time and the previous responses have given me even less hope.

Thank you again Patricia. You listened and demonstrated care and compassion. I will certainly consider this information.

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