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Alternative services in Scotland?

C

CCink

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
Messages
12
Afternoon all,

I am a new member and have already learnt so much from my reading on the forum. I am so glad to find a place for mental health discussion.

I've been struggling with my mental health over the past ten years - this last year was particularly difficult and I am now beginning to realise that it is something I am going to have to work on throughout my life; not just a coming or going phase but something I will have to actively be aware of and edit my life to work around it and cope with it.

As I say, this last year was particularly difficult and I am growing increasingly disappointed in the amount of aid and services available to people in Scotland (and UK).

I am currently unemployed (moved back to my hometown since completing my studies elsewhere), but when I was at university I was working and my place of employment supported me hugely in providing free access to counselling. Unfortunately, that had to end shortly after it begun as I had to move back to my hometown sooner than had been planned.

I read this article yesterday;
'But there was no other alternative, and that was the only way I could get the help I needed.
To date, despite the Government committing to a parity of esteem for mental health, there is no plan for an alternative. It remains standard advice that if you are facing a mental health crisis, you should attend A&E.'

And listening to this just now; Mental Health Crisis deployment teams in NYC/Alternatives to calling 911.

I have visited this page; CMHTs Community Mental Health Teams/rethink.org

But this service is not available in Scotland? :(

I have also visited and read about CRHT, but as one can see from some user comments - it is still not a greatly rated alternative and that just isn't good enough.

The first time I sought help was phoning the Samaritans... Since my first phone call I have done so five other times and 3 of those 5 conversations were incredibly disappointing - between sighing of boredom and the phone line engaged. On the fifth occasion I was so distressed I demanded to know what sort of training Samaritan teams receive to do their job.

There is such a growing demand and need for greater access to mental health services but I think cost and the individuals own courage and confidence to act and ask for help makes what is available inaccessible.

So, what are alternatives to contacting one's GP or A&E in Scotland?
(And what's your thoughts on online-chat available services? Are there any?)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
C

CCink

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
Messages
12
Thank you for the response thus far - but this is a pressing issue. I am hugely disappointed and distressed. What do others think?

(also - thank you TiredTina - completely understand the link removal - thank you for allowing my post to be published).
 
neorealism

neorealism

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2015
Messages
423
Location
North East of Scotland
Waiting for 1.5 years already to see a psychologist in Scotland. If people down South think they have a Mental Health crisis, it's 100x worse here.

Like you, when overwhelmed and having a crisis I've phoned Breathing Space, got someone who didn't interact with me in any way - it made me feel even worse. I know they are not allowed to give any advice but they don't even offer any reassurance or comfort.

So the last time I was having dark thoughts and was on the brink, I thought of phoning 999 just to have me sectioned or whatever, but realised that'd be me on my record for the rest of my life. Thankfully I managed to calm myself down and talk myself out of doing anything bad. If somebody knows better alternatives than phoning 999 in Scotland, I'd be happy to hear them.

If you live near a major city, there should be free counselling services. Go to your GP and demand to be referred to CMHT. Exaggerate if you have to, to get a referral so that they label you as 'at risk'.
 
C

CCink

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
Messages
12
Hey neorealism,

Thank you so much for your reply.

It is quite horrendous - I'm feeling better now but definitely speaking to my GP next week.

I have to say, I phoned the Samaritans three days ago and spoke to exactly who I needed to and we had the conversation I absolutely needed. But I do wish this was an every time occurrence/experience.

Sorry to read that you too have had unhelpful experiences when contacting helplines - and waiting so long!!!

I definitely agree with a need for change in major cities.

I hate the fact that one has to be considered 'at risk' to garner support - I believe that prevention is better than cure - there needs to be more options.
 
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