An ongoing battle with #mentalhealth services

This afternoon I had an appointment with the local Adult Mental Health Assessment Team. Although the nurse that I talked to was lovely, once again she didn’t really know what to do with me. It’s becoming the story of my life.

I know that I have three main problems that need dealing with: depression, anxiety and compulsive behaviours. Without boring you with the details, it’s the compulsive behaviours which (mostly) cause the depression and anxiety. These are behaviours that are harmful to me, potentially harmful to others and which have got me into trouble with the police, more than once. You might be forgiven for thinking, therefore, that helping me to tackle those compulsions would be a priority. You’d be wrong.

Why? Well, believe it or not it’s because nobody is willing to pay to help me. Sounds mad doesn’t it? But believe it or not, neither my local Clinical Commissioning Group, the Council, the Police, the Probation Service, my MP, my GP (who, incidentally, is chair of the local CCG) has been willing or able to find any service that is able to help me. The reason they all give: funding.

Infuriatingly, if my behaviour had actually led to a criminal conviction then services would be falling over themselves to offer me help. However, because that’s not happened there is nobody out there prepared to lift a finger to offer me anything at all. Unless, of course, I am prepared to pay privately for my treatment, which I simply cannot afford. (NB: I was able, with the help of a charity, to privately pay for 12 sessions of CBT and although that helped a little the problems are all still there and I can’t afford to go back.)

All of this means that I am still in ‘limbo,’ waiting for someone to grab this issue by the scruff of the neck and get it sorted. The nurse that I saw this afternoon has said that she will flag me up as a ‘complex case’ in their multi-disciplinary team meeting tomorrow and see whether she can find anything for me from that, and ring me back on Friday. I don’t have high hopes, but hopefully I will be surprised.

Following advice from my lawyers, which should give some impression of how serious this has got, I have an ongoing case against Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service because of the way that they have treated me over the last year. Suffice to say that they haven’t exactly showered themselves with glory. Entertainingly I have a meeting with them next week, which should be good for a laugh considering that I’m suing them.

However, and allowing for the fact that I do have bad days, I’m determined that none of this is going to get in the way of me moving on with my life. I am really enjoying working on the Creative Breaks project, and have some exciting plans of what to do in the new year when that’s completed. OutdoorLads and the LGBT Foundation is giving me a whole new social circle and group of friends that are incredibly supportive and really give me hope that I will, one day, be able to look back on all of this and wonder what all of the fuss is about.

Of course, I also have this blog. It’s hard to put into words how much the kind messages of support and understanding that I get online. Comments and emails, here as well as on social media, have come from people I know, people I don’t and people all over the world. Seriously, people in Lebanon, India, New Zealand… all sorts of places. Believe me when I say that it really, really helps.

So, thank you and best wishes to you all šŸ™‚


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