Last night I received a voicemail from a new NHS team, providing mental healthcare in my area.
I’ve been on their waiting list for the best part of two months, and to get that voicemail saying there was an appointment ready, was a massive boost for me.
I called them back today and was told the appointment is for tomorrow. Now, I know I should be grateful to have been taken off of the waiting list to get an appointment, but I can’t do anything with such short notice-as I’m a Mum of two and my husband works full time.
I explained that I couldn’t do it, but that I could do Wednesday next week. The representative said they couldn’t do next Wednesday but they could do the following one. My husband is once again working that Wednesday so I had to explain once again that I couldn’t do that day.
Starting to get irritated with me, she abruptly asked when I could do, explaining that I have to choose a day I can always do, each week, and stick with it. I said that my husband works shifts, so Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are a little tricky because he rarely has the same day off each week. I did explain however, that I was able to do any time between 9 & 3 on Mondays and Fridays.
Apparently, there’s no one available for those days, so I was asked if there was any way I could “make myself available” for a regular day in the week. Once again I repeated about only really having Mondays and Fridays free, and explained to her, that every single time the previous counselling departments have had me on their lists for CBT, this is what has happened. It’s why I’ve only ever had telephone counselling, because no one is ever free on the days I am!
So, I’m now back on the waiting list, until a therapist becomes available on a regular Monday or Friday slot.
Seriously-where have all the therapists gone? Anyone I speak to now, who’s seeing a counsellor regularly, is paying to go private. What about those of us who can’t afford that?!
Are we to be left waiting, while our mental health deteriorates further??
I know the NHS is under strain. I know there isn’t funding for mental health training, therefore there aren’t enough mental health professionals for the growing number of patients requiring help.
But this is important. This does need to be at the forefront of any budget talks that are had.
I have my mental health issues, because I was let down by the system in the first place. No great leaps have been made to correct this or to help me now, and I can’t see a time when there will be!
Things need to change-and fast.