A mother trying to access children’s mental health services has shared her experience after she failed to get an appointment for her child, although she was initially told she would have one.
Philippa Clarke of Stoney Stanton recorded a video saying she was initially told her son, 12-year-old Joshua, had been accepted as a referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
But later, the 34-year-old was notified by phone that a mistake had been made and that Joshua’s reference had not been accepted.
In the video, Philippa looks visibly upset, but explains that she felt she had to post the video on social media to raise awareness about how difficult it is to access proper support for children’s mental health.
She said that after the experience, she felt useless, devastated, emotional and disappointed. She said she felt discouraged by the system and that support was “scarce.”
She asks to see changes to the (referral) system and says “blaming it on autism and ADHD is not right.”
After posting the video, Philippa said CAMHS had been in contact with apologies.
An appointment has now been made for Joshua.
The 34-year-old took to Facebook with her video to show her frustrations, with a headline that included, “I had to post this. I want to let people know how difficult it is to access the right support around of children’s mental health and mental health in general “.
He continues: “For about nine years now, we have been pounding on message with different services. We were always expecting a little help, but no, they would drop us like a hat!
“Why would they call me on the day of our evaluation after going to their internal panel, to say that Josh had been accepted, and then wait six weeks for a real appointment, they were only told that there was a mistake and they won’t? Be involved?
“I beg you not to be too late. Posting this is the absolute last resort for me, personally ”.
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Breaking down the video, he says, “It’s an absolutely bloody nightmare, it really is and I’m sorry to come here and cry about it. Bloody hell.
“Where is our mental health support for our young people, for our children, where is it? On? We can only get help when it is too late. I mean it’s absolutely terrible. It’s really just a long, tiring trip. “
A spokesman for the Leicestershire Partnership Trust said: “We deeply regret the distress caused to this family. Although we cannot go into the details of individual cases, we are in contact with the mother to ensure that adequate support is given to the family. as soon as possible.
“We take patient feedback very seriously and have offered to involve the family in our ongoing work to improve local support for mental health and wellness, along with other mental health and wellness providers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. .
“Patient safety is always our number one priority, and although some of our waiting lists are longer than we would like, we have a hotline for anyone of any age who requires urgent support. in mental health.It is available through our Central Access Point to 0808 800 3302. Please do not suffer in silence, contact us and we will advise you.
“We also have a wealth of information, tips and support on our Teen Health, Child Health and Child Health websites that children, young people and families can use to learn more about how to treat their mental health and their well-being and available assistance “.