"Community Mental Health Services"

(as the patient),

I was discharged back into the Community without the aftercare of specialist services a patient can usually expect.

I was asked this question: would you like the services of the community mental health team or would you like the services of your GP surgery in order to monitor your mental health diagnoses and treatment?

Firstly I feel that a patient should not be asked this question because it is very difficult to answer. Ideally I consider that most patients with mental illness would prefer to visit their GP surgery routinely when requiring advice and support, however GPs are often ill-equipped and too busy to deal with mental illness from my experience. And I am sure I am not alone in presenting myself before a GP in a crisis whom I find rarely has the time or the inclination to deal with what should be providing by community mental health services.

Since the concept of Community Care I would describe the care and treatment in the community to be woefully inadequate. I consider I have been the subject of a number of "ideas", "theories", "models" and ""ideologies" that have made little sense. On the one hand I have mental disorders that require treatment (medical model) that is not a cure and has included the involvement of the emergency services and on the other hand I have been subject to a number of models, most recently the recovery model that suggests I can recover at the drop of a hat because the latest Government does not want to pay out in welfare entitlements.

Given that my daughter currently undertaking a degree course can at best look forward to a future of uncertainty regarding employment, what makes mental health organisations', mental health charities, Government departments' and the service user movement think people with severe mental illness can recover any semblence of a normal life, that includes employment. when university graduates' are struggling to find work.

It is very foolish to think that any statutory organisation or service has our backs and therefore I would recommend that Rethink & Co keep their opinions to themselves or we with severe mental illness could find ourselves on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)looking for low-paid, temporary or casual work whilst enduring symproms associated with severe mental illness.

As a patient diagnosed with severe mental illness I consider I have a severe and long-term mental disorder that requires medicines (at the right times and doses) and psychological intervention, where appropriate, and realistic plans and expectations from those in secondary mental health services that take account of the current ecomomic climate and not some ideology that is unrealistic and threatens any semblence of existance in what is after all a very difficult life.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››