So I have blogged recently that both me and Mel have been struggling since Michael has been born. We have both recognised we are struggling and that we need to get some help before things got worse than they already were. We then both saw a health professional, I saw a nurse at the mental health team and Mel saw her GP we were both then referred to a health service close to where we live and we have both had phone assessment to see if we were eligible to use their service and we were both told we could be offered CBT for PND and PTSD and that we would be put on the waiting list that was around 3 months long. That was 5 weeks ago so we have spent that time trying to figure out how we make ourselves feel better and doing as much self care as possible.
However things took a turn this week, Mel got her letter to start CBT next week, I decided today to call the service and find out when things would be moving on for me as my wife has an appointment before me when I was assessed before her and we were both offered the same service. The lady asked what we were assessed for. I explained we were both told we had PND and PTSD. The lady very quickly told me my wife had been prioritised because she had PND. Me being me explained that men can get PND and I also suffer from it so couldn’t I get the same priority. It was explained to me that they only prioritise mums with PND so I would still have to wait and the wait was another 14 weeks.
I have to admit this left me with mixed emotions. I was happy that Mel is getting help and glad she would be getting the help to be happier and start to move forward. However I was and still am jealous and a little bit angry Mel is getting help where as I am left struggling for 3 more months that’s June before I get any help. I need to get help to get better so I can be back at work and actually feel like I doing something to support my family. What about me when will I get my help?
Now before I go on I understand why Mel got prioritised and why they can only prioritise mums with PND the service is stretched right now so if they prioritised everyone then no one would get seen quicker and those in crisis would not been seen quickly. And I don’t blame the service either they have so much funding and so many people in need of help.
I blame the NHS and our government. Cut after cut has left their services short of money and short of staff leading to massive waiting lists and patients who have been brave enough to ask for help waiting 6 months for help this is just not on. You would not have to wait 6 months to have a cancer that was killing you removed from your body. You would start treatment straight away. So why are we waiting 6 months to start treatment for an illness that is destroying the life of hundreds of thousands people? I know mental health is broad term and there is different severity of mental health illness but you wouldn’t even wait 6 month for the most minor of physical illness.
This is just not good enough there are just the failing that are published.
Services are doing the best they can with the little money they have, charities like PANDAS and Tommies as well as private people like me with my facebook support page and websites like This Dad Can are also trying to support people as best we can. But we shouldn’t have to the NHS should be better equipped to support those with mental health illnesses.
Right now someone in government needs to stand up and be the voice of these people and make sure mental health services are funded correctly and that everyone get the help they need a lot quicker before more lives are lost to the horrible debilitating illness is mental illness.