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"I referred myself to a GP for a decline in mental health"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Adult Mental Health Services Lanarkshire Community Services / Occupational Therapy

(as the patient),

I referred myself to a GP for a decline in mental health in June 2021 and am now coming to an end with OT in October 2021 feeling like a much more resilient, happy individual.

I felt I have struggled with my mental health, in the form of mild depression and anxiety, for over 6 years now. I only found the inner confidence to deal with it June of this year and it has, truly, completely changed my outlook on how I feel. I did not know about the services available to me in my local area but now feel so lucky to have accessed them and been given the support from Mental Health Link Workers, Occupational Therapists and Peer Support Workers.

Sara Menzer in Occupational Therapy helped me face my biggest issues such as social anxiety, nervousness around university work, a loss in confidence, sleep issues, and a general lack of care for myself. Using OT techniques such as the '5-4-3-2-1 method', mindfulness apps, breaking things down into 'bitesize' chunks, sleep diaries, self-help websites and several more, I improved many aspects of my life that helped me become a generally more happy and confident person. The 6 sessions I had with Sara helped me feel a lot more resilient and able to face up to difficult tasks, rather than avoiding them like I used to do.

I enjoyed being able to talk to someone about issues that I didn't quite realise how harmful were to my mental health and outlook on life. It can be scary when using clinical terms and labels such as 'social anxiety' but understanding the background behind some of these issues and how to resolve them really helped me learn a lot about myself and overcome my worries.

I would change very little about the OT course I had with Sara other than possibly being able to have some meetings face-to-face, yet I understand that COVID and social distancing measures undoubtedly affected this.

I also appreciate that after a 6-session block, the ability is there to re-refer myself back into some OT sessions if I ever need a "top-up", as Sara said. This makes me feel very supported, even after our sessions came to a close.

Overall, I am so happy with my experiences with SAMH, OT, and all other mental health services that have been offered to me and would recommend them to anyone else that was in the poor mental state I started off in. All I can really say is 'thank you'!


Response from Anne Sanderson, Advanced Practitioner - Occupational Therapy - South, NHS Lanarkshire last week
Anne Sanderson
Advanced Practitioner - Occupational Therapy - South,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 08/10/2021 at 18:17
Published on Care Opinion on 11/10/2021 at 10:24

picture of Anne Sanderson

Dear Amy616,

Many thanks for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your experience of working alongside one of our Occupational Therapists in Primary Care, Sara Manzer.

I am delighted to read your story. I’m glad that you felt able to reach out to these different services and that your experience has resulted in such positive outcomes for you. It’s lovely to know that you are feeling more resilient, confident and happy.

I’m very pleased that Sara’s support has been beneficial in exploring the background to some of the issues you have been experiencing and finding helpful strategies to help you in managing your depression and anxiety.

It is also helpful for us to receive your feedback about a preference for face to face meetings. When Covid restrictions allow, we hope to offer more flexibility around the type of interventions we can offer.

Your story has been shared with Sara, her colleagues and wider management. All feedback regarding our service is always gratefully received. It is great to know the support offered has made a difference.

Thank you once again and may I take this opportunity to wish you well for the future.


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