Gog here, but I can safely write this post for Anon too.
Crisis Team have failed us every time we have contacted / seen them.
There are lots of things out there that have a high rate of dissatisfaction and that don’t fulfill the job they are supposed to, but I think the scariest thing about CRHT is that it’s for people who need help urgently. They are in a crisis. It’s not just Anon and myself that have had terrible experiences with Crisis Team either, I’ve read and been told lots of things by other people that make my stomach tighten.
The first time we were referred to CRHT was actually the first time I managed to get Anon to see a Doctor, ever. She had been actively suicidal for months; we had only been dating about 7 months and I was physically exhausted from having to watch her every second of every day to keep her alive. The GP referred us to Crisis Team immediately.
We met with two women and spent a long time talking with them…I don’t remember exactly how long because this was seven years ago and we weren’t as experienced with the NHS then. We actually believed that this appointment would help us.
The appointment ended with the woman telling Anon that she was ‘just stressed about her exams’, and telling her to try relax. We had spent the past hour at least telling them she had been suicidal & depressed for 5 months, she couldn’t go out alone and her eating disorder was in full swing.
We got out the hospital and Anon burst into tears. I remember she just clung to me and sobbed. I wanted to go back in, to argue with them, but Anon isn’t forgiving…once someone has done something to her, that is it. She won’t trust them again.
The next time we saw them, a year later, was when I had taken Anon to A&E because I was scared she would kill herself while I slept. The Doctor at A&E treated Anon like a child – he was saying to her “And do you promise to go see your GP on Monday? And do you promise not to hurt yourself until then?” And Anon was just nodding dumbly because she had already shut down and would have agreed to anything then walked out and jumped off the nearest high building.
That was supposed to be our A&E visit, but I argued ferociously to see Crisis Team. I wish I hadn’t.
We waited hours until two men showed up and asked to speak to Anon. They wouldn’t let me go with her. I don’t know why, and at the time I wasn’t used to fighting for her – I still trusted the system, remember? I asked them when they’d talk to me, and they said they’d have a meeting with me after talking to Anon.
Anon doesn’t remember much of what happened. She said they took her to a room and asked her question after question, while she stared at the floor and couldn’t answer. She was struggling so much at the time, and on top of that she had (still has to some extent) trust issues and fear with unknown men.
After what felt like hours Anon appeared. You know what those idiots had done? Once they’d finished talking to Anon, they’d opened the door and told Anon she could go. She was in a hospital she had NEVER been in before, and she had no idea where she was or how to get back to me!! They left her to wander, terrified, around a hospital!
I was confused about when they would talk to me. I eventually saw them walking towards the hospital exit – wait, what? I ran to catch them up, and asked when they would be talking to me, and they shouted “Anon will tell you what we talked about” over their shoulder. That was it.
When we left the building Anon started crying hysterically.
The third time we had to deal with Crisis Team was after an urgent GP appointment following an overdose. The GP became quite panicked when we told him about Anon’s overdose; he took some bloods and then phoned and babbled to Crisis Team. They later phone and, after a twenty minute phone call, said they couldn’t help because Anon wasn’t “actively” suicidal…um, she had just taken an overdose the day before?!
The fourth time we saw Crisis Team was when Anon had been manic for weeks; she couldn’t sit still, she was hallucinating, and she thought she was invincible. We saw one male psychiatrist, and he was okay…the best experience we have had with CRHT anyway.
He asked Anon questions but she was too distracted to answer, and he wouldn’t let me help fill him in. He seemed to cling on to and ridicule things that I thought were totally unimportant (eg. Anon drank alcohol for the first time when she was 13, that she drank as much as 3 double vodkas on a night out – “do you have to be carried home after that??”). At the end of the appointment he told us to go to the GP and get referred to a psychiatrist asap…wow, thanks genius!
This brings us to yesterday 🙂
Yesterday was a really terrible day. Anon was panicked from the get go, but the sort of panic where you can’t function, think, exist even. She couldn’t talk because her voice would wobble and she would cry. She was terrified.
I phoned Single Point Of Access and spoke with someone there, and they gave us an appointment for tomorrow (today). We’ve never been given an appointment with someone so quickly! They told me to phone Crisis Team if we couldn’t cope.
We couldn’t cope, so I phoned Crisis Team. I told the man that answered that Anon’s anxiety was through the roof. She was hallucinating and extremely paranoid. The man spent ten minutes talking about ‘calm breathing’ and then said we should phone SPOA and ask them to push the appointment forwards.
This was ridiculous.
Not only had SPOA advised me to phone CRHT (and yes, I told him that), but by this time it was 4pm. SPOA is around 90 mins away, and even if they could fit us in (which is unlikely) they wouldn’t see us after 5pm. CRHT is a 24 hour service, yet they wouldn’t help us.
Thanks Crisis Team, you are the worst service we have ever had to deal with 🙂
I’m very anxious about the appointment today, mainly for how it will affect Anon. Fingers crossed.