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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Mental Health system and follow up

Topic: Mental Health system and follow up

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. Ely72
    Ely72 avatar
    75 posts
    9 September 2020
    So I have had quite a lot to do with my local mental health teams this year. I am wondering if other people or places have the same policies and problems I have encountered. Here in CQld they will only see you in acute or crisis episodes. They see or phone you for a couple of weeks and that is it. I am apparently not eligible for case management, referral to ongoing chronic care MH, or for their dbt group. Their reasons include that I am not psychotic, I don't have an intellectual disability, and I am smart. Also the psychiatrist told me that my latest attempt on my life and self harm, would count against me getting more support.
    How does this make sense?
    Has anyone encountered this?
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    1310 posts
    9 September 2020

    Hi Ely

    I've had that exact same experience, however I moved a few years back and am now attached to a different hospital, which is better for mental health. But that shocking experience of being discharged and rejected for services has happened to me.

    Although the current hospital helped me I am not in the category of requiring case management which means I am not eligible for the hopsital's groups. I was interested very much in a mindfulness group and would'e happily committed but I am not a consumer of the hospital so also was rejected. What you said about being smart I can understand. I often feel like there is a category of "sick" which is overlooked, when you present well or don't tick boxes. One of those is being smart and self-aware. Somehow, if you are smart and self-aware you aren't "sick" enough for some services... this has been very confusing for me too, as like you, I'd be interested to access thm.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. golden82
    golden82 avatar
    140 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to Ely72

    Hi Ely,

    Same here. I am in Adelaide and early in year after a long stay in hospital for physical medical problems - I was not coping mentally - very suicidal feelings and so my dietitian suggested I ask for a psych assessment and tell them how I was feeling so that proper care be delivered. However, what happened was they reluctantly provided this psych assessment and asked if I was feeling safe to go home (I live alone and have no supports - no family or friends). I said no - I was feeling suicidal and scared - and referenced back 5yrs to a similar situation when there was no f/up and I got worse and wanted to avoid a repeat. They said, well sorry we have no beds and we need your bed for other patients - but here is Lifeline's number. What? Seriously? And there was no f/up - I had to chase up a community support place and even then it was several weeks wait - and then only 2 sessions with the worker - and the first was just a history taking - and the final was to tell me their services are for people with significant mental problems... not for me as I am self-aware, highly intelligent and well educated and just need to work a bit harder - they gave me a generic sheet of ways to work a bit harder - colour in, phone a friend etc. It is all a joke. I begged for more help or f/up. Nothing - that was 7 months ago now. So I completely relate with you and Sleepy. It is disgraceful - as my dietitian told me I would always slip through the cracks because of these factors - If anything it makes mental health support for people like us even more necessary as we are tortured souls because we are so self-aware and also we are ready and willing for treatment/help and denied this help. Because we are deemed to be functioning. But this is all relative and some of us started at a very high level of functioning, or as Sleepy said we present well. This area I think is one of the biggest flaws in the mental health system. And the fallout tends to be for families to pick up the pieces - but then as in my case (and I am sure a number of others too) when you don't have this you struggle on your own. It makes me so mad. And one professional passes the buck to another and nothing gets done for you, the patient. I have given up on it all. I have been relying on crisis lines and doing my own self-help learning. Later on will hopefully have the energy to again search for a psychologist - but am yet to find one of any use. I hope things improve for you.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Sleepy21
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    1310 posts
    11 September 2020

    hey golden and ely

    so so true golden. i can't list the number of times i put myself in a vulnerable position asking for help and was knocked back.

    Nothing changed this time - the stuation was the same, i was the same, but I did get help. The only thing was that I was linked to a better public hospital due to living in a different catchment area. And I guess time changed, so maybe the services have progressed and developed somewhat.

    That is so sad but true and you put in so powerfully -

    slipping through the cracks happens too often to the most vulnerable. We need to be so so assertive and self-protective and determined to get the help we need - however at times vulnerable people will struggle to do that.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Ely72
    Ely72 avatar
    75 posts
    11 September 2020

    Hi Sleepy and golden

    Thanks for your replies. It's nice to know that it's not just me, but absolutely horrible to see that others are treated this way when asking for/requiring help.

    And you are right sleepy, we need to be assertive. Unfortunately when I most require help is when I am least able to push for it. I'm sure this is true for many people.

    In terms of high-functioning, golden, I feel like I've had so many years of practice hiding my churning insides, it's automatic. They don't see the non-functional inner world where I am a writhing screaming mess. If I was to let that out maybe they would see that I need more support. But I consider it far too dangerous to open that door....

    Ely

    1 person found this helpful
  6. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    3281 posts
    11 September 2020 in reply to Ely72
    Hi all,

    For me it's the opposite. I'm assertively not wanting their help but bcas I'm on a community treatment order CTO) I have regular visits with a case manager and psychiatrist.

    You've all made me more aware of other people needing this help way more than I do yet I'm getting it.

    I've slipped into the cracks, yet want out!
  7. golden82
    golden82 avatar
    140 posts
    12 September 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    hi MM,

    Nice to see you here - thanks for adding your situation - you have opened my eyes to that side of things too. I am sorry you are stuck and wanting out. The system can be a mess hey. Keep asserting yourself and take care :)

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    1310 posts
    12 September 2020

    Hi MM,

    that sounds very rough and I can fully appreciate that many people go through that as well. I have taken medication I don't think I really needed and also been in situations where the people around me stigmatised me for mental health - it is very sad that the medical model does this.


    1 person found this helpful
  9. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    3281 posts
    13 September 2020 in reply to Sleepy21
    Hi,

    Very sad indeed. Lots of people on medication they don't actually need. In my case it's forced injections :-(

    I find the mental health team to be unhealthy personally. For me anyway.

    I'd rather have the support of a good councillor/ psychologist.

    Mental health have force drugged me and made me feel beneath them.

    I believe that stigma is very much still alive Sleepy.

    Yep, system is a mess... don't worry golden I'll try everything to get out of their grips.
  10. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    1310 posts
    13 September 2020

    Hi Monkey

    I'm sorry you have had the same experiences too. It really is horrible to have medication wrongly prescribed.
    I learnt recently about the Medical Model vs the Recovery Model for mental health - if anyone has any info on this I'd love to hear it - it's very interesting that the recovery model is all about empowering patients to make their own choices for their own mental health. My lived experience means I have so much knowledge about what I want or need - and can choose from that place. I hope this model becomes more prominent in mental health systems.

    Monkey re what you said the doctors "made (you)...feel beneath them"

    I'm really glad you mentioned that and reminded me of that major issue. Did anyone else have a hard time speaking up/asking questions/disagreeing with doctors because of their insistence on being right/powerful/high-status?

    I've felt like that so often and started to doubt myself. That's part of how I slipped through the system is I didn't insist on treatment when they said I was fine without - I struggled to disagree with them because I felt intimidated.

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Ely72
    Ely72 avatar
    75 posts
    15 September 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    I am often aware of the intimidation factor with medical and mental health specialists. I also struggle to voice my opinion with most drs, especially if it's in opposition to them. I have a neurological condition and the hospital that used to manage it labelled me a 'difficult patient' because I advocated for further treatment for myself. Since I pushed through then and got treatment, but subsequent treatment/management has been extremely difficult to get, I now hesitate to push or assert myself in any way with anything.

    Ely

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