The last few months I have found myself yet again, for the umpteenth time with no support from mental health services due to staff illness and other staffing issues.
In March I was moved to a new care co-ordinator who was on a permanent contract and in post to work intensely with people who've been diagnosed with personality disorders. I was moved to this worker because my current care co-ordinator could not give me the level of support I needed post SAGE.
I had 6 appointments with her, it was going well, I had the feeling along the lines of this is someone who I feel I can do great work with. Then I had 2 cancelled appointments during the first half of June. Then middle of June I got a phone call informing me that she had left and was not going to be replaced. That left me feeling deeply depressed, not valued by the system and uncertain as to what all the meant for me going forward.
To not replace her was the fatal error. I can understand why they didn't, how it was easier to save money by not replacing her but that shows a short-sightedness which is endemic at all levels of mental health care at the moment.
At this time I had my final appointment with my SAGE support worker who had massive concerns and said she would send a strongly worded email stating that the failure to give me extra support is hugely impacting on my mental health and that I needed solid support as soon as possible.
Next I found myself reverted back to the care co-ordinator who couldn't give me the support I needed. At that time she was doing training and said she's be in touch once she finished training. I heard nothing for nearly a month which seriously did my head in. By now it is late July. Then out of the blue in mid August I had a call from her saying I'm back from leave, I've had an email from SAGE stating you need extra support.
Well thank you for NOT informing me you were going on leave immediately after finishing that training. Aargh!!!
We made an appointment for the following Friday. She did not ask me if I was ok or needed help during that phone call.
The following Friday came and I had a message from the admin team informing me that my appointment was cancelled because my worker was off sick.
So at this point, the last support appointment I had with the team was 26th May 2017.
On 3rd August I had a call from the manager requesting an appointment with me. I met him on 7th August. He said he was there to reassure me. It felt like a charm offensive to me. He categorically stated that my worker has stated she will return to work 14th August and that he would email her to say get in contact with Fi as soon as possible, sooner rather than later.
14th August came and went with no contact as did the 15th and I thought she's not bloody come back to work has she! On the 16th I got a letter from the manager stating that my worker is not at work indefinitely and that if I needed support to phone duty or the Samaritans or the Crisis Team. It was a very cold impersonal letter which undid all the good of our meeting on the 7th.
The other issue with the letter is that it states clearly in my care plan that if my worker is off sick Duty is not an appropriate level of care to offer me. Obviously that care plan is not worth the paper it's printed on nor the effort that went in to it.
So yet again I have to fire fight a mental health system which is not fit for purpose, deal with that fact that yet again I have no support because of the crap system and have had to put on hold post SAGE processing for the time being which is very annoying and is having a detrimental effect upon my mental health.