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Lack of mental health support for carers? - Carers UK Forum

Lack of mental health support for carers?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I went to my GP several months ago to say I was struggling - feeling very anxious and depressed. She was lovely - prescribed medication and made a referral for counselling. I then had to attend several appointments/ assessments. Today I received a letter (very badly written and structured) basically saying that as my father hasn't died yet I can't receive any counselling. That I should join CarersUK to get support with caring issues and to phone the Samaritans if I feel suicidal.

Sometimes I just despair over how carers are treated. It is well known that suicide rates are higher amongst carers than the general population but limited support is given.

I hope other members have had more success.
Faye, that is absolutely terrible.
The person writing this needs to be struck off the counsellors register. Was she a qualified counsellor at all, I wonder?

As you know, I found face to face counselling incredibly helpful when I was stressed with so much going on at one time, and I know you are in an incredibly difficult situation too.
Totally disappointing if it's NHS...

https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/
Mental health services is very restricted at the moment, very few are getting the support they need through the NHS.
And there are long waiting lists.

The GP's are restricted as it is not them that make the decisions, all they can do is give antidepressants and refer.
Have you tried your local carers centre asking them?
In my town there is a big therapy centre, it is private but a charity, on a pay as you can afford basis, is there anything like that near you?
Have you a Relate nearby, they might be able to help or advise or a local Mind, some do have counselling services you can apply to.

It is really bad us carers should be able to get the help and support we need to carry on but no one seems to care.
Have you had a carers assessment, under the Care Act, the council has to think of wellbeing.

I agree though it is disgusting what the counsellor said, well worth complaining, but I suspect you did not meet the high criteria for getting help and support.
My caree passed away and despite asking, no bereavement support was ever provided, I was just left to cope on my own.
My counselling is now funded as the result of my Carers Assessment.
That's the good news.
Bad news?
I have been a carer for 41 years and this is the first money I've ever managed to get out of Social Services for myself!
It does not have to be like this.
When my cared for person was a tiny baby I asked the new general pediatrician to recommend a doctor for my caree. It was only after speaking to another specialist at the hospital that I was able to find a urologist. I rarely use my GP practice these days as a result of that awful meeting which happened at the end of 2017. It felt like torture honestly.
I now instead usually just bypass them and ask other carers or the doctors themselves for advice. I cannot even remember when I actually phoned the surgery or stopped by the practice either. Can you complain about this person to your GP or not?
My original one was lovely but not able to help much. Counselling will help you.
Faye, this is just dreadful. Please inform your doctor who referred you.

As for MIND, I would advise being prepared for a long wait too.
For an indication of the latest " Waiting times " , the main MENTAL HEALTH MELTDOWN thread :

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/specific ... down-34595

It doesn't make good reading ... for obvious reasons.
Thank you, as ever, for all your kind and helpful responses.

Earlier this week I was informed by my fathers consultant that he has less than three months to live. On Wednesday the hospital discharge co-ordinator called. We had asked last year (especially from July onwards) for a contuining health care assessment to be completed - I had chased his social worker constantly but got nowhere. They had now completed the assessment and I was told that the CCG would pay for his care. However on Wednesday I was told the hospital wanted to discharge him home on the same care package that he was on when he was admitted. His needs have changed significantly since then (for example he was partially mobile with a stick but is now bed bound) - they said they would do an urgent assessment once he was home. Obviously I said no - I wanted the assessment/ an increase in hours before discharge.I have written a formal complaint saying this would be an unsafe discharge (he also still has some medical issues that I would like them to resolve before discharge as they would be difficult to treat at. home eg bladder infection and compacted faeces), We are at a stand off.

I have asked about hospice care. They have said that it is not possible for him to go into a hospice and continue to receive dialysis. If he stopped dialysis it would bring his death forward to just one/several weeks time. Obviously Im not prepared to do this. I don't understand why you can't continue to have dialysis whilst living in a hospice - surely patient transport could as easily pick you up from a hospice as from his flat?

Still no news on the personal injury claim about his fractured humerus. Patient Transport Services admitted liability in the summer. So it should just be a case of agreeing a settlement figure but everything seems to take so long.It took the solicitor nearly six months to appoint a care expert but obviously Dads health is deteriorating all the time so I'm not sure what use their assessment will be. We shall see. I've chased again.

Unfortunately it just never seems to end. People are paid (in many cases handsomely) to do a job and there is just so little support for us carers. Its all so very depressing and makes me despair at what we have become as a country. Oh well just have to get on with it. Thanks again for all your advice
Hi Faye, So sorry to hear the latest. You and your dad have been through so much and you've stood strong and done the very best.

Have you asked what your dad wants to do? Perhaps it might be best for him to go to hospice for hospice care. He would have caring trained staff available 24/7.

My mother spent 17 days in hospice. The place was calm and peaceful and the staff were attentive. She was in a room with three other ladies who would keep an eye on her and call for assistance when mum appeared to need it. (Mum could use the call button so the larger shared room was better than her being in a single room.). She had a uti, constipation and cancer. She was taken off all medication. I opted for hospice care in a hospice because I felt it meant mum would have medical staff there when she needed them, and I would not be on call all the time, having to wait for nurses to arrive, etc. It was easier for me to visit, rather than do a lot of the caring at home. Mum was ready to die and felt she'd been lingering, bedbound, for too long already. She had no quality of life.

Im sure more of us will offer their thoughts soon. All the very best. Rosemary xx