Reduce wait time and increase access and services for mental health patients.

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Patti Thatcher started this petition to Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP. Matt Hancock MP

 It is regarding mental health and the enormous lack of
provisions in place. We all know that there are problems with mental
health care, however here are something's that you may or may not know
about the current system; that users like myself come across:

1) The current wait time for CBT and counselling in our area is 12
This includes charitable outreach services like CRASAC, who have been
amazing in thinking up new ideas for the massive 'in the mean time'.
More worryingly, urgent cases like self harming or suicidal thoughts
the wait is 4 months. This is abhorrent. I am now so used to being told
'wait until' I've stopped asking for anything sooner. It makes me feel
negligible; how it must be for someone who is completely at the edge,
could be the straw that breaks the camels back.

2) The current wait to see a psychiatrist is approximately 3 months.
Usually you only get a referral if your GP thinks you are at serious
risk and/or has run through the 'firstline' in antidepressants and can
not prescribe anything stronger. You feel like you finally have reached
help, but you have 30 minutes to run through all of your issues, your
current meds, your past meds, any other health problems that could
hinder your progress. It's not enough. It's a medication focused
appointment where they can refer to the services mentioned above. Also
they are usually located in a hospital only environment, with very
little outreach, so can be hard to even just get there. You essentially
transfer from one wait list to another.

3) If you do get to see a psychiatrist, it's unlikely you'll see the
same one regularly.
Something I only found out recently (into my 18 month wait) that
actually your consultant actually works on rotation. This means every 6
months your consultant is replaced with someone new. You then have to
go through everything again, as (understandably) the Dr wants to hear
it from you, rather than notes. Your medication is likely to change,
and you have to go through withdrawal and then get used to your new

4) Crisis teams response to calls.
I'd like to point out here that the clue is in the name. You are
supposed to call for support if you feel like hurting yourself or
struggling to cope. They run limited hours (not 24/7) this means if
you're in crisis after 6 o'clock you're unlikely to get help from them.
Services like Samaritans do run 24/7 but they are not medically
trained. You also get a mixed response depending on who answers.
Sometimes it's the receptionist and you have to get past them first.
Responses I have had personally: 'can you call back, there's no one
available now', 'there's not much point in me doing anything, wait for
your appointment' and 'you need to call a different number sorry' (apparently despite seeing a Dr at that particular centre I was under a different areas care team).

Really I could go on, but these I feel are the major concerns right
now. Maybe instead of meeting with social media sites about video
content, he could perhaps meet with local care teams to see how
desperate they are. We need a voice, we need these problems made
public, we need to voice and act on this in parliament; let
them know what we are dealing with. If we had somewhere to turn, we
wouldn't be looking at ways to kill ourselves.

For articles related to this for more information at how little is actually available please see:

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