Those of you who follow this blog will know that I was on the NHS therapy list (still on it) for almost 2 years with no therapeutic support. In that time, I worked with an excellent NHS Care Coordinator and a support worker when I came out of hospital but I didn’t have in depth psychotherapy because the NHS list is so long in the area that I live.
This comes down to chronic under funding of a badly needed service. At the moment, finances are strained for me due to anxiety/ panic attacks disrupting my work. So, I was on the list waiting and waiting.
But no help was coming. I was told to speak to charities who did excellent work. But I didn’t feel I wanted group support as I had done group therapy before. My family very kindly agreed to fund a few therapy sessions for me privately because if I had waited and waited for talking therapy- it wouldn’t have arrived. I was seriously unwell a few years ago so I feel for anyone else in my position who has been through a trauma and still can’t get follow up help, in terms of psychological therapy.
Its part of a bigger funding problem here in the UK. Across the board, children, adolescents and adults with mental health issues don’t get enough support in community and sometimes there are waits for hospital beds. I have been lucky enough not to have to wait for hospital treatment when needed or have to go to the other end of the country for it. Yet I know people who have had to, and their mental health inevitably declines.
Back to me for a second. I can’t bash the NHS fully because I had excellent CAMHS care as an adolescent and in the previous borough I lived in. It is only when I have moved borough that I have noticed the strain on the system- more people trying to access it, less staff and less funding, more cuts leading to waiting lists and lack of support. My psychiatry team have generally been excellent, but the psychology service isn’t running fully. As an adult in an NHS hospital in 2014, I had excellent care which was not far from my home.
So this week, I met my counsellor for the first time, who seems lovely, genuine and supportive. I hope that talking through issues and past traumas will help with the emotional undercurrent of my anxiety disorder. It is worth a try.
(Oh and Aladdin the musical this week was completely magical!)
I am also job applying and reaching for my dreams. I just hope and pray that life turns around again and positivity will remain 🙂