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Just why is our mental health care so poor?

I spent most of last Friday working on a blogpost. On a sunny Saturday, I spent the morning with a group of Fusion coaches who attended our regular group supervision. In the afternoon I went to a barbeque, stayed sober, and left early to bring together an ebook offering tips, tools and strategies for emotional wellbeing.


Today, Sunday, I am spending the afternoon writing this newsletter. It's lovely outside and the garden really could do with a bit of work. There's a green-striped deckchair on the lawn that looks pretty inviting. The pub next door is open and I can hear my neighbours chatting and relaxing outside.


Question: Why do I choose to do all this work when I don't have to? Why did the Fusion coaches choose to give up their Saturday morning to attend supervision?


Answer: Because I care, because they care, and because we believe there is a better way to help people with emotional health problems.


I am grateful to Fusion coach Di Danzebrink for bringing to my attention a trending twitter feed that broke my heart when I read through it. #MentalHealthCareSoPoor has caught the attention of young people who feel let down by our mental health system. It is full of statements of disappointment and despair.


I've taken the time to reproduce some of the thread here for you. These are real people with real problems calling out to those in charge to do something, anything, to improve the 'help' currently on offer in the UK.


Those of us who work in mental health have a duty to ensure we have a toolbox of skills that are really effective and will really help. It's difficult not to feel upset and/or guilty about what is happening in the name of mental health.




‘Oh you tried to kill yourself? Let's get you to tell the story 10 times to 10 different people..’


‘That happened so long ago you're not allowed to still be upset about it’


When I couldn't leave the house due to anxiety my therapist reply was ‘go for a walk’


‘It sounds like you have bipolar disorder because you're very moody’


‘When I was 14 my first psychiatrist misdiagnosed me as bipolar disorder within 10 min of talking to me’


‘I'm still waiting to start therapy after being referred in March.. lol’


Being yelled at by hospital staff for crying too much


One time and mental health worker told me he doesn't think I have bipolar disorder because I don't seem manipulative or angry enough


when you feel desperate enough to say how suicidal you feel and get ‘well you can't be that bad if you're telling us’


‘I struggle making phone calls because it makes me so anxious.’ ‘Okay. so here's a list of phone numbers you can call’


You will most likely be sent home from A and E in less than 24 hours after serious suicide attempts


No one cares unless your physical appearance reflects your mental health, no one should have to prove they’re ill


Dr says ‘you're clearly too social to be autistic’, but you haven't seen anyone socially in the year


You have to look at your meds on online to see what your doctor thinks you have


When people would rather go through mental illness on their own because doctors or cans do absolutely nothing


Because the only recognition to help you ever receive as if you attempt suicide


When you go to the doctor about depression and suicidal thoughts and get told ‘it's just teenage girl hormones’


When your anxiety makes you feel physically ill, day in day out, but that's impossible because ‘it's all in my head’


You are only considered a priority if you're suicidal, like why leave you get to that point….. prevention is key


‘You don't sound too bad on the phone. Have you thought about trying antidepressants IAPT telephone assessment’

When I got hospitalised for suicide at 16 CAMHS never called me after because I ‘wasn't severe enough’


My psychologist refused to see me after I missed an appointment due to my mental illness


Me. ‘I feel depressed’. CAMHS. ‘You wear make up your fine’


‘You're not even old enough to know how bad life really gets’. ‘Okay hey yeah, you're right I'm too young to be sad...sorry’


Not being taken seriously because you seem okay…. that's why it's called mental health..cos u can't see it?


I was told to ‘grow up’ when I told my doctor I was suicidal


When a therapist said to me ‘you're a good-looking girl I don't see what problem is’


My therapist once told me ‘at least you're not one of those starving kids in Africa’


My last suicide attempt I wasn't hospitalised because they didn't have the bed available


That they laugh at you for trying to diagnose yourself but will not diagnose you


My therapist said she was shocked I was so high functioning…. even when I wasn't eating, showering or sleeping


That after self harming my doctor told me to exercise when I felt anxious because I was on the heavier side


My little sister was diagnosed with PTSD. She was dropped off the patient list for being late to one appointment


I tried to kill myself and the doctor told me I should be grateful I'm not actually ill like the other people in the hospital


That I stopped going to therapy after my therapist accused me of embellishing my stories and lied for attention


That the only time I saw a doctor at the psych hospital was for 5 min after I was admitted

‘I'm suicidal’. ‘Have you tried art therapy?’


Your anxiety can't be that bad if you talk to people online


Your gender dysphoria is probably just a phase


Always being let down by the system ……then being promised help but get nothing


My doctor telling me my depression isn't as bad as someone else's they've seen because I can fake smile


‘We’re surprised you're still alive, we don't really know how to treat you …so we’ll use you as a case study instead’


Being sent to a therapist that wasn't even qualified to deal with the disorders I had, making me feel more helpless


There was no follow-up after leaving three nights in hospital for a drug overdose, because it'd happened before


Because I'm constantly told that if you think you have problems you aren't as bad as so-and-so


Phone feeling suicidal and get told to ‘go to bed’


In group therapy sessions with children ages 7 to 17 we were told you have it better than other kids


That I was told I wasn't depressed enough while in the emergency room hospital


The first two therapist I went to when I was 12 refused to help me because I was too young and too happy


That you are constantly re-diagnosed


I have to prove that I have an eating disorder. I feel like a failure. A fraud. I need to get skinnier so others believe my suffering


When you therapist forces you to have your parents in on all your sessions so you don't actually have a safe spot talk


Being advised to ‘have your daughter arrested for her behaviour so she can be noticed as bad enough the treatment’


One therapist telling me my body dysmorphia is nothing to worry about and just cut down on the cakes


That after four months of fully describing the extent of my illness, my therapist told me to ‘look on the bright side’


My CAMHS worker could no longer see me because of cuts to the NHS and I was apparently doing fine


when my friend committed suicide I was told if I'm still sad three months later, they'd consider helping me


They wouldn't listen to me about my being suicidal so I started shouting and it sent me home because I was a threat


That I was too young for the rehabilitation programme and so was discharged as ’recovered PTSD’


A psychiatrist tried to suggest to my parents that I changed my legal name to rebel against them


A psychiatrist who had never met me before tried to diagnosing me with ADHD


After not being seen for six months being discharged even though they kept cancelling my appointments


Telling a counsellor I wanted to die to be told I was ‘low risk’


You just need to exercise and smile and you'll be happy. Thank you for the amazing advice CAMHS


My doctor made me leave the room during an episode because he was running late


Because a lot of MH profs are too busy defending the feelings of their good colleagues instead of listening to us


to treat suicidal thoughts they give you meds with the side effect of increasing suicidal thoughts


The clinic closure came six months after my father’s suicide and two months after I lost my job


After five years of antidepressants and self-help leaflets.. yet and more depressed and anxious as ever


Having my therapist offer to text me every day to make sure I was okay ..and I never got a single message


Half of the time I was there and she kept talking about another kid from my school and how he got better and his problems


I explained how I felt my therapist and he said ‘maybe you're just a sad person



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