"Anxiety and Depression and no NHS help"

About: South West London And St George's Mental Health NHS Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I became depressed when I was about 16. Shortly after that I started to have anxiety attacks regularly. I went to my doctor about it when I was 17. They told me to wait until I was 18 so I would be treated by the adult service. A year later I have not had a single appointment with any mental health service. I went to try and get help in November last year and despite making numerous appointments and being put on many waiting lists I've still not received any help at all.

At one point I was turned away because I admitted to using cannabis to help deal with my anxiety. They did not say "we'll help you stop using it to deal with daily life" instead they said simply "we can't help you".

So right now drug dealers are of more use to me than the NHS... there is a serious problem here...

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Response from Sue Denby, Head of Quality Governance, Quality Governance, South West London and St Georges

picture of Sue Denby

Thankyou very much for your feedback. We now have a new Patient Experience Team responding to stories posted. Although it was some time ago now you told us about your distressing experience I felt it was important to let you know we have heard you, you are not alone, and to tell you about services which could be of some help. IAPT provide assessment and treatment for the common mental health problems such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bulimia nervosa, and other diagnosable mental health disorders defined by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). The stepped care model aims to provide each client with the level of treatment that is appropriate to their current needs. The first step is the initial triage assessment which is often carried out over the telephone, this is a structured interview specifically designed to identify current mental health problems. Following this interview the client can be recommended for the Psycho-educational group program, individual guided CBT or computerised CBT with our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, or they can be signposted to a service that more closely matches their needs. Alternatively the client can be stepped up for a more detailed assessment interview with a Psychologist where they may be recommended for one of our group treatment programs, individual CBT or referred on to a specialist service. The Trust currently provide these services in Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth and you can self refer. Similar services are available in Richmond and Kingston although not provided directly by us. Here are some details which I hope you will find useful:

Sutton and Merton Service location: Wilson Hospital and Jubilee Health Centre

Address: Wilson Hospital

Cranmer Road




Jubilee Health Centre

East Building

6 Stanley Park Road



Contact name: Victoria Lawrence-Smith (nee Clark), Administrator

Telephone number: 020 3513 3975 (0800 032 4207)

Fax number: 020 8540 5927/ 020 3513 3992

E-mail address: victoria.lawrence-smith@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk

Wandsworth Service location: Springfield University Hospital

Address: Springfield University Hospital,

Building 20, Entrance c,

First floor, Room 2

61 Glenburnie Road,

London SW17 7DJ

Contact name: Vicky Vidalaki or Jane Street

Telephone number: 020 3513 6264

Fax number: 020 3513 6964 / 6788 / 5934

E-mail address: vicky.vidalaki@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk

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