"People who are supposed to help you do not seem to care or believe you"

About: Inpatient mental health care (Lewisham) Lewisham

(as the patient),

I was referred to SLAM by my GP in July 2013 and waited for an appointment letter. After waiting for 3 weeks I contacted SLAM and that was when my nightmare began. I left several messages on their answer phone requesting an appointment or call back but it never came until I threatened to file a complaint.

At my first session (assessment) I was asked to pour out all that is troubling me. I told this staff very sensitive things that I have been keeping to myself for years and what brought on all this issues resurfacing (problems with Lewisham Homes). After I narrated my problems, the first thing I was told was to make sure I turn up for all appointments or else I would be taken off their system.

The second thing she told me was that regarding my social problems with Lewisham Homes, that they did not provide social services and therefore I would have to sort that out myself as they did not have time for social issues affecting my emotional health. I did complain to PALS and a letter of apology was sent out to me. However this experience confirmed all the stories I have heard about people with depression. People who are supposed to help you do not seem to care or believe you. You are still going through mental stress but are scared to approach those who are supposed to help for fear of not being believed and the lack of empathy you receive.

I have not been able to get help since this incident and have only just relied on anti-depressants. My conclusion is if you suffer from mental health in the UK, you are alone unless you harm yourself or others.

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