"The way he treated me was degrading"

About: Dirrans Centre Three Towns Resource Centre / General Psychiatry

(as a service user),

I feel in my experience that NHS mental health services are absolutely lacking.

I had an issue with self-harm at the beginning of the year, it was at its worst point. I got an appointment with a psychiatric nurse and then got an appointment with a psychiatrist the next week.

The way the psychiatrist treated me was degrading. It took a lot for me to go there and tell him how I felt and it felt like he was being dismissive, he treated me like a child. I felt worse when I left and ended up going home and attempting suicide. Apart from A&E I didn’t see anyone else from the NHS for six weeks. My GP tried to help with referrals but I still had to wait.

When I did get back to the psychiatrist he didn’t apologize although he knew what had happened and he had the same dismissive behaviour. By this point I was in a better place so I could handle his attitude.

I found help from a group called Penumbra who help people with self-harm as well as receiving CBT from my local youth centre. I also receive counselling from the Dirrans centre.

I think attitudes of psychiatrists towards mental health patients need to change, they still treat us as lesser human beings and talk down to us.

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Response from Nanette Masterton, Unit Manager - Dirrans, North Ayrshire Council

Dear John Smith 2

I am sorry to hear of your experience but hope that the counselling service you received at the Dirrans Centre has been helpful.

Your comments will help us to continue with this valuable service.

Kind Regards

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear John Smith 2

Your experience seems to have been quite varied and I am so glad you did get good help and support from Penumbra, your local youth centre and the Dirrans centre. I am so sorry you felt the consultant was dismissive and talking down to you. No-one should be talked down to and it must have felt awful when you were already feeling so low. In the meantime, I will pass this to the Psychiatrist in charge for their consideration but I wonder if you would like us to look into this further. If you would like this, you can contact me on 01563 826222 or eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk. Please let me know your name and date of birth. I can also arrange a meeting for you and a senior manger if you think this would be helpful to discuss your experience with them.

Thank you so much for letting us know how about your experience, it is so important that we get the ‘insider knowledge and experiences’ from the people who use the services.

I hope you are well now,

Best wishes,


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