"Teenage Mental Health Services"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter was referred to the CAMHS service around 3 years ago following a visit to the GP where I expressed concerns about her eating and weightloss.

The service provided counselling support to my daughter to deal with the issues that were leading to her eating issues and as a family we were invited to meet with the therapist and explain our family history.

Since this time my daughter has since developed self-harming behaviours including cutting herself with razor blades and on at least one occassion (that I am aware of) has taken an overdose of medication - this did not require medical treatment thankfully.

My daughter developed very chaotic, risky and abusive behaviours which placed enormous stress on our relationship, my own health and our family unit.

My daughter was discharged from the CAMHS service earlier this year. My daughter recently disclosed that she was once again self-harming and had escalated the severity of this. As someone who is trained in the use of ASIST techniques I discovered she also felt suicidal in her words "every day" and had thought about a plan of how she might complete her suicide.

I immediately sought help for her which was not straight forward, I searched on the internet for sources of support and contacted a national voluntary organisation but their services were not funded in the Health Board area in which we live. They suggested I go back to the CAMHS team.

I tried to refer my daughter back to this time through a self-referral but despite her being known to the service for a number of years they said they could not intervene unless she was admitted to A&E following a serious episode of self-harming or attempted suicide.

I was distraught...was I really being told I had to wait until my daughter had seriously put her life in danger before we could access help? I was then told that maybe my GP could make a referral. I made an urgent and desperate call to my GP practice at 4. 15. pm that day The receptionist although helpful said there were no appointments till the following week. I explained my concerns and I was told to call back in 10 minutes while she spoke to the GP. The GP agreed to see my daughter straight away, I was so grateful.

The GP made an urgent referral to the CAMHS team and asked my daughter to make another appointment to see him the following week to check on her wounds. Never once during all of this process have we as a family been given any strategies, support or guidance on how to support my daughter or cope as a family with the associated behaviours which can be extremely challenging.

Our family unit is now completely fractured. My daughter is living a chaotic and risky lifestyle and yet I have been told by the CAMHS team she does not have a diagnosable mental health condition? And that as we cannot access family therapy through their service as it is only for people with moderate/severe mental health problems and suggested I contact a private therapist to arrange this service. What I have been offered is signposting to parentline and PPP classes for managing teenage behaviour. In my opinion we have gone way beyond what those type of services can offer.

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