Today I am hosting another post from a friend and fellow Mum of a child with ME, showing a different side to how this illness can affect our children and the care they desperately need and do not receive. This is a true account of what happened just last week.
Pushed from pillar to post, the last, and most desperate, place to end up has to be A&E. I mean why else would you put yourself through it, unless you were in dire need of help
The nightmare crowded reception area, with no privacy, as you check in, and tell the receptionist you are here with your young adult, who is in the middle of a mental health crisis.
Name? Have you been here before? Same address? Blimey can she speak any louder, Are you mum? I nod,
Take a seat I’ll tell them you’re here
You mean notify the one mental health practitioner in the hospital? bleep her? Page her? Put a call out? Let’s face it, she could be anywhere, and it could take hours before she sees your daughter who is now on a knife-edge
We sit with the rest of the ‘clients’ in our local A&E
Everybody looking wondering what the problem is
Sitting, waiting in the grimy area, under bright lights, sitting on uncomfortable chairs, seeing people vomiting, hearing people coughing, hoping you won’t be left waiting too long for the psych to arrive from wherever in the hospital they are
Hoping you can bypass A&E and just see the one psych who is on call
Nurse calls out our name, you know the drill, this doesn’t mean you are being seen, this is just your pass on good physical health, so you can miss the A&E drs and go straight into the psych queue, the long psych queue, where there is only one psych, somewhere in the hospital…..
Passed, box ticked, but sorry nowhere else for you to wait but the waiting area
No calm room, dimly lit, in a quiet area, somewhere your child can feel safe and secure, your child who is feeling like they want to just die
3 young people ahead of us, all given 50ish minutes with the one psych in the hospital, and whilst we wait in the grim waiting area for our turn, I’m hoping my child doesn’t just get up and walk out, walk out in front of a car
3 and a 1/2 hours later, my girl is still here with me, and we are called in by the same psych who has been on duty, solo, all night, dealing with all the other people in crisis.
I can’t imagine how fatigued she is, I’m bloody knackered, after all it is now 2am
Hi, hi, yup hi, pleasantries, and you must be mum….
50ish minutes later, like clockwork, I’ve done my best to try and help my unstable young adult, but no, no bed, no safe place, nowhere to go but home with
On the upside, lol upside?!, the outreach team will phone her tomorrow, which is now today, to organise an assessment and set up a plan
In the meantime hopefully when I get home from work she will still be in her room, safe with a plan
Where are the 24 hour safe haven units for our children, teenagers and young people?
Where can they go between the hours of 11pm to 9am?
Where is the help and support they need?
The answer, there are two to choose from neither of which are inviting:
1) – get referred to CAMHS via a gp and wait up to 18 months for an appointment, or
2) – head to a grimy A&E waiting room where you, patiently, wait for a psych evaluation by an overworked member of the mental health team, who when we st t had seen 4, back to back, young adults in crisis
The future is not bright, its bloody dark and gloomy, and I can’t see through the darkness, neither can my daughter
To be continued….