"Mental Health"

About: Prince Charles Hospital Site / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My partner and I both suffer from mental health problems but I am at a loss. I can get help from people all over the place, but my partner doesn't. He has been to the crisis team 3 times recently all with negative outcomes.

The first time he spent the night in a police cell that was a few months ago now, but he has been seen by the crisis team twice this week for feeling suicidal and still nothing. The first time he was even discriminated against him, because of his low mood he tried to self harm, but when he seen the doctor at the crisis team the first time the doctor said "Don't you think that looks silly at your age". He is 41, I know you mainly hear of teenagers cutting, but surely doctors shouldn't be aloud to treat a patient like this.

The second time he went (yesterday) they refused to help him because of drink and drugs, I know drink and drugs is not self injury but I was led to believe by the amber project in Cardiff that they were still recognised forms of self harm. Also we have tried our GP but all they care about is whether or not you are suicidal and if you are they just ship you off to the crisis team. He also had a nurse to refer him for different counselling I seen her too before my partner. But it seems he had the one appointment and that is it nothing comes from it, they say they will help but they don't. I am really concerned about my partner and because it has never happened to me I am at a loss at what to do. He doesn't see the point in trying to get help now because he feels as if no one cares or wants to help him.

Nearly a week now he has been feeling this low and I am scared for him because I have been in a similarly dark place myself, but at least I had people willing to help me. I personally feel it is disgusting how someone can be treated like this.

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Response from Madeleine Brindley, Head of Communications, Cwm Taf NHS Trust

I am sorry your partner's experience of mental healthcare fell short of your and his expectations. To investigate further, we will need to take some details from you about your partner. If you'd like us to do this, please could you email us at CTHB_Concerns@wales.nhs.uk or call the Concerns team at Cwm Taf Health Board on 01443 744 800.

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Response from Kerri Jones, Co-founder & Manager, No Secrets

I'm sorry you and your partner have had to experience this.

Firstly, I'd like to point out that self-injury can affect anyone of any age. The fact that your partner is 41 should not mean he is treated any differently than that of a teenager or younger person.

Secondly, drugs and alcohol are forms of self-harm (self-injury involves cutting, burning, inserting foreign objects etc). This can prove to be more difficult for services, as it's hard to work with people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This doesn't mean that your partner doesn't deserve support however.

It's great that you took a friend with you to see the psychiatrist - sometimes significant others, like yourself, can be seen to be over reacting or worrying unnecessarily.

If your partner would like to email us for support with regards to his self-harm he is more than welcome to. Please let me know if this is the case and I can put you in touch with our online team. My email address is kjones@no-secrets.org.uk

Take care and I hope things improve for you both.

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