Starting Therapy and NHS Mental Health Under funding.

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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 🙂

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My Guest Blog at PhobiaSupportForum.com

Be Ur Own Light is proud to collaborate with Mark at http://www.phobiasupportforum.com. Phobia Support Forum, support people suffering from a wide variety of mental health conditions and specific phobias. They have a forum where sufferers can talk and ask questions and form friendships.

My guest blog for them is about my anxiety and working with a care coordinator. You can read it here:

http://phobiasupportforum.com/expert-guest-articles/an-amazing-care-coordinator/

We are truly so happy to be a part of Phobia Support Forum and look forward to working together in the future. I hope all you lovely readers enjoy my blog!

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(image: google/ quotesgram)

An amazing Care Coordinator

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder when I was just 16 years old. During the years that followed I had some brilliant psychiatrists and some dull ones that I didn’t click well with, met several good psychologists and had some excellent therapists for talking therapy or CBT. However, this post is dedicated to my old Care Coordinator who finished working with me a month or so ago and I just want to talk a bit about the role, what it entails and how much she aided my recovery.

When you have had an acute episode of mental illness (which may have included a hospital stay or day unit) , you may be assigned what is known as a Care Coordinator. Care Coordinators are usually mental health nurses trained to coordinate care between you, the client and the whole mental health team- whether thats a support worker, psychiatrist, psychologist. They talk to you about how you are feeling, give you advice and speak to other professionals on your behalf.

After my hospitalisation in 2014, I was assigned a truly lovely, wonderful woman to help aid me in my recovery at home. I am writing about her because sometimes its very rare to click  so well with someone, for someone to be so positive and upbeat and kind.

When I met my Care Coordinator, I was still very depressed and anxious, in my adjustment from coming out of hospital on a psychiatric ward. She used to come and sometimes I wouldn’t want to see her because I was feeling low or anxious and didn’t want to talk. We worked together for a year and she listened to all my fears about being maid of honour for my sisters wedding, getting back into work, dating, keeping up friendships with anxiety and how I was going to rebuild my life and cope again.

She provided a listening ear and helping hand in a time of immense darkness.

She watched me as I struggled to hold down work, recommending a support worker for me, and sessions with a psychologist, I had a course of 10 sessions. She asked if she needed to help me with housing or benefits (here in the UK this is money from the government if you are sick). Luckily I have a good family support network but my Care Coord became like a good friend to all of us and I grew to love our sessions and enjoy talking to her about my life, her life and its similarities :).

After 6 months to a year of being back to health and not acutely unwell any more, my Care Coord had to move on to help other people who were more ill than me. However, she will always have a special place in my heart for the joy and positivity she helped me find and I don’t think I will ever forget her.