belis
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#1
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As a part of a project, I am looking at unmet need and barriers that young people (0-25 years old) face when they are trying to access help for mental health difficulties.

I would be interested to hear what experiences, good or bad, people had when they tried to refer young people for help from any agency including GPs, schools and Universities, CAMHS, 3rd sector organisations or any other provider you might have approached.

Or maybe you have had a personal experience of trying to access a service for yourself. If you decided not to approach anyone I would also very much like to know what lead you to that decision.

The aim of the project is to canvas widely for views and opinions and try to specifically tap into online communities.
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hmltd
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My experience of CAMHS is very mixed! However the main barrier for me was the waiting list, which was about 4 months long and unbearable. Especially if you are vulnerable to anxiety, such a long waiting list can put you off asking for help due to the lack of support received in the meantime. I believe more funding/staffing should be implemented to avoid this.
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SHUGURU
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I found it fairly easy getting referred to CAMHS through my GP when I was younger.

However, at university, there is a 12 month waiting list for counselling and I haven't been offered any external services except from an online CBT course, which wasn't helpful as I wasn't motivated to complete tasks given and I already knew the basics of CBT since I was with CAMHS for a long time. Our university service is rammed - we also have a 'wellbeing service' which has been good when I've used it in the past, but appointments are now booked online each month and are almost always fully booked up straight away. Waiting lists are probably one of the most frustrating things about the services for me.

I have had very mixed experiences with GPs. While some have been beyond lovely and helpful, others have seemed very blunt and almost frustrated at me for coming to them with mental health issues, some totally dismissing what I wanted to talk to them about, and a psychologist even using a diagnosis she had just given me (GAD) as a casual adjective ("I was feeling very gaddy the other day")???

I understand it can be tough on the services and the advisers and doctors, but a lot of improvement really does need to be done.
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Pathway
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I had really good care from my university, I was able to start counselling within a week of asking for it and due to my circumstances I was able to stay with my counsellor for 16 weeks (as opposed to 6 weeks). I also had access to an amazing specialist MH mentor via DSA who helped as well as a disability support worker who helped me navigate issues I had as a disabled student at university.

The NHS CMHT I was under at university was poor though, didn't help me when I was in crisis (told me they couldn't because they were moving buildings??). My psychologist was also very dismissive and neglected my Eating Disorder allowing it to get much worse. Also had to complain to the GMC about one of the psychiatrists and her awful manner. They also bounced me around between care coordinators, which was frustrating.

The MH teams I'm currently under are also poor and have awful communication - I am currently under the access team, the eating disorder service and on a wait-list for the psychological services team all at once. This is not allowed and puts me getting help in jeopardy honestly, all because they don't communicate effectively. I also don't have a care coordinator either or a key worker, so I have no one to go to about concerns/issues, which is frustrating to me, as they've even agreed my case is a lot more complex than normal due to various issues.

Additionally, I was almost hospitalised twice this year due to the severity of my issues and the second time I was assessed for risk the doctor was awful and made callous remarks, also my time under the crisis team wasn't great, some of the people who came to see me/give me medication/assess me either didn't read my notes or made stupid remarks or deliberately made sweeping statements.

My GP at university was amazing at dealing with my mental health issues, my home GP I find harder to talk to about my issues because of various reasons. Despite having MH issues for much of my life (from about the age of ~5), I didn't seek help until I was around 20 years old.
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cat_mac
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There needs to be care for wait listed people. You can spend months with nothing apart from the crisis team and they’re only good in the moment.

I’ve always said there needs to be some consistent weekly group meetings like AA to talk about how you manage. The closest I’ve got are X number of sessions. There’s a lack of long term support to talk with other patients and a MH professional, and both of those are important so you feel heard and peer support to know you aren’t the only one.
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Pathway
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(Original post by cat_mac)
There needs to be care for wait listed people. You can spend months with nothing apart from the crisis team and they’re only good in the moment.

I’ve always said there needs to be some consistent weekly group meetings like AA to talk about how you manage. The closest I’ve got are X number of sessions. There’s a lack of long term support to talk with other patients and a MH professional, and both of those are important so you feel heard and peer support to know you aren’t the only one.
I completely agree with the bit in bold.

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CoolCavy
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(Original post by cat_mac)
There needs to be care for wait listed people. You can spend months with nothing apart from the crisis team and they’re only good in the moment.

I’ve always said there needs to be some consistent weekly group meetings like AA to talk about how you manage. The closest I’ve got are X number of sessions. There’s a lack of long term support to talk with other patients and a MH professional, and both of those are important so you feel heard and peer support to know you aren’t the only one.
Agree with this 👍

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Uni support is ok if you have DSA and stuff but for.specialist things you need GP referalls. Had bad experience with IAPT, they referred me for a 'stress' course which was wholly inadequate and you can't go back to IAPT for 3 months after you finish your course or therapy.
After months of faffing about finally diagnosed with a personality disorder (not saying which one sorry) and am now on a 1 year waitlist for a psychotherapist. The psychatrist said they are trying to reduce the amount of people on the waitlist as well by blocking referrals which is just ridiculous. Agree with cat Mac about consistent support. Now apart from my GP and uni I haven't got any proper support and everyone just tells you to ring crisis but when the police tried to ring them for me it was farscile as noone answered.
So yeh is a lot of improvement to be made. I understand that it is all free but that doenst man people's lives aren't at stake here.
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belis
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The point about waiting list is a very valid one. Some Trusts accept most referrals but only to place them on a waiting list (up to 2 years in some areas) with no input. However, for the benefit of performance statistics, they have been accepted into secondary care.

The idea of support groups is, I think, underutilised at present. Peer support may well be one of the most acceptable forms of help for young people but we are not tapping into it and not even researching this much. Aside from a lot of panic around the use of social media and how it allegedly fuels the self-harm and eating disorder epidemic. Conviction based more on high profile snapshots than any systematic research into this area.
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