"Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and access to services/treatment"
About: Livewell South West Livewell South West Plymouth PL4 7PY
Posted by concernedstudent2 (as ),
I am a student at the University of Plymouth. As a result of mental health issues, I am currently repeating the first year of my undergraduate course. In the summer of 2015, with the help of my disability support mentor from the university, I applied for CBT with Plymouth Options, Plymouth Community Healthcare. I found the long waiting time difficult and this exacerbated the stress.
Due to my anxiety issues, I felt that getting CBT was the right thing for me to do. I was assigned with a therapist and the treatment was definitely making a positive difference, as it helped me to talk through and rationalise my problems.
However, I was told by my therapist that I had up to 6 sessions. I was under the impression that once those 6 sessions were up, I could simply get assessed by my therapist and continue treatment with no delays or issues whatsoever. I was feeling more or less happy with this perception I had. However, to my surprise, I realised that as my sessions were coming to an end, I was to be discharged and forced to re-apply for more treatment.
As my discharge occurred during the beginning of the academic year, a period in which I was suffering mental health difficulties already, I found that being discharged has greatly exacerbated my stress and anxiety. I have practically felt unsupported and left to fend for myself, even to the point of feeling suicidal at times. The only alternative I can pursue is private healthcare which I cannot afford or university counselling, which I don't wish to do.
Personally, I am sick and tired of having to meet new people to discuss my problems over and over again. I get very anxious meeting new people and I was already comfortable with the therapist I previously had. Therefore, I simply just want to continue receiving CBT from my previous therapist.
As a result of being discharged, I have received no adequate support since and I am close to breaking point. Upon hearing that once I re-apply I will have to wait for at least a month or longer, go through a physical check-up with my GP and have an assessment before receiving more treatment, I had several mental breakdowns which has subsequently caused me to seriously falter in my academic progress. I have also lost control and damaged several items in my house.
Once I consulted my GP, I was then asked to book an appointment for an assessment, to see if CBT is suitable for me. Then I was assigned another therapist when I specifically requested to be assigned to my previous one, because I feel this is better for my treatment.
I am upset and angry at being discharged because I still need the service, the re-application waiting time is too long and excessive bureaucracy is causing me immense amounts of stress. I feel like nobody cares. People say they do, but I am seriously starting to doubt this. I sometimes feel suicidal but I'm also worried that I will be denied service due to me possibly being deemed "unsuitable". I know that will just make me feel worse and if anything, will make me want to actually make a plan and execute it. I know that having the therapy with my previous therapist as soon as possible would make me feel better. Then I can tackle my academic issues and recover.
I am quite frankly disgusted at the whole system and these policies of only allowing a limited number of sessions. I also have a problem with the amount of allotted time for each session. I feel that 30-45 minutes is far too short and it just makes me feel even worse knowing that the clock is constantly ticking and time is disappearing. I personally blame these policies for my stress and anxiety that I am experiencing at this time.