In this video we talk to Alex who describes his experience of Mental Health services in Rochdale

Hi, Alex. Factor doing your card with me today, so I have a question for you. Could you please explain your experiences of the mental health services in Rochdale? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the the biggest issue I found with the mental health services is they come in and every game they've got is a shot to fix

But the fact that mental health can be developed and grows worse over a large period of time, they're looking at a short term fix to a long term problem. It's like putting the way I see it, it's like putting a plaster and broken leg. Um, honestly, like I have been on the tonnes of mental health services and watch Dale and apart from the mental health team, I wonder now with my new worker is absolutely fantastic

The role Very we'll stay or doing something, and then they do the opposite. If there isn't any sort of care and awareness towards the actual issues at present, they, like I said, they just everything to them is just a quick fix. And mental health isn't a quick fix

I mean minds. My old mental health is obviously down to childhood trauma So obviously it's a It's not something that's developed later in life due to, for example, drug taking or alcohol taking. Um, so obviously, it's a very difficult thing to try and fix in such a short period of time, like the amount of times I've been under a mental health worker

And they said, Right, we've got 10 sessions at the end of it, everything should be OK and it's not how it works. It's really not how it works, and it is just there needs to be more awareness put towards the mental health services. Like I said, the person I've got at the moment, Gillian, she's college

She is absolutely fantastic. Within the first meeting, she said, Right, how you managed on such a low antipsychotic goals, I don't know. We're gonna off that straight away, she said

Um, I'm going to look at your care act assessment. We're going to get that fixed as well, because that's not fit for purpose. She practically ripped it up straight away

Put all the mental health services. It's always it just always felt like, How quick can we get you seeing, how quick can we get you out? Obviously, I've had two stays in Burchill. Um, the first time was due to self farming twice within two weeks, and we both stays like the second stay was because I've been on the bridge and in my life, and it was just like it just felt like they're very quick to get you in, but I'm very quick to get you out

And I think in terms of the terminology they use for like, for example, they put me in informal twice and they were very quick to get me and quick to get me back out there bearing in mind the second time especially where I've just been on the bridge trend in my life within four or five days to discharging me again. And they're like, Oh, there was potential of a Section two. I'm like, Am I? I'm thinking, Why don't you explore that go down the avenue? Because I'd have happily stayed there for 28 days for them to assess me properly

And by not doing that and release me within four days, nothing's changed. I've not been in the safe environment that long, and you're putting me back out into a dangerous position where I'm just kind of going back to the bridge, because at that point you see it is the only fix. The only solution to a problem that yet again is a long term problem that is built and got worse over, say, 56, 10, 15, 20 years

And the issues with the mental services is they always say to your medication is not going to fix everything and granted, I completely understand that, but it has to play some effect. And when you got someone like myself, for example, it was on such low antipsychotics constantly hearing voices telling me to kill myself, to sell farm. And I'm on a low dose of a medication that could help those sorts of issues

It just It's beyond belief, and it's just quick fixes. I always feel like apart from now, whilst I'm under this new team, the home treatment team, the Access and Crisis team, they're all very in the moment, and the mental health isn't an in the moment thing like it's like all they say two is ring this number, but then you ring the number and it's like they're not in the office. They've gone home and It's like we can't plan a mental health crisis around them being in work like I don't sit there and go, Well, I'm gonna have a mental health crisis at three o'clock in the afternoon because I know that they're still in work for five, nine times out of 10

If I'm having a mental health crisis for some bizarre reason, it's around midnight one in the morning and all we do is say, Well, ring the number, you're in the number, they start panicking like, Can you get yourself training? Can you get yourself if you send an ambulance where you get in it? But the fact of the matter is, I'm not going to get an ambulance. What do I want to go and sit in A and E for for nine hours to be palmed off with the eyes open that has upon the my mental health worker prescribed for me. Anyway, it doesn't make any sense to me, and I think the issue is in my opinion, mental health is just as important as physical health and because if you feel mentally well, your physical appearance is better

For example, your personal hygiene is up. You sort of look on. Life is a lot more brighter

And in Rochelle I've noticed especially, and it's it's the same within the Greater Manchester. Borrow that there's more help for people with addictions and the rest of mental health and the people that are around to help for mental health. It's very few and far between, like rocks Don't mind

They came into play four or five years ago on my case, But the issue is as soon as you start having suicidal thoughts or your self harming, they sort of got this is too much for us to deal with. We deal with low to moderate your high risk, which is fine. But then when they sign posted me, all passed me from pillar to post

Where have ended up is exactly the same position, the actors and crisis team here and now. It's not gonna be a here and now fix it. It's a long term fix, and a long term solution to a long term problem isn't gonna disappear

Overnight isn't a cold where you can take some paracetamol or ibuprofen or whatever, and you go to sleep and you come back the next day and you're feeling a lot better these days where I wake up, and I think it's showing its most days where I wake up and I think, Why am I still here? And that is simply down to the fact that these mental health services, especially in Rockdale and other borrowers, short term fix theirs the word shot to infection and even be in the sentence when it comes to mental health. Because it's a long term problem that needs long term solution. And and so the bigger picture was looked up

There's gonna be a lot of people in Rockdale that are gonna be statistics because they're gonna get to a point where the help is not there and you get to a point where it's like the only way out for me is to kill myself, for example, and it's just it's shocking because, like the amount of statistics that link with homelessness and mental health people and mental health and people from the care system, the statistics horrible. I think the mental health team equipped to diagnose you with stuff, even if it is the correct diagnosis. But they're quick to diagnose you and quick to discharge because they think they're doing the job by diagnosing it

You've only done a third of the job by diagnosing it. You diagnose you treat and you monitor, in my opinion, that also be the three steps that the mental health team should follow. But just because you diagnose someone with it, you have not solved the problem

You just said This is what it is you've named it. You've put it in a bracket of that's what it is. For example, bipolar emotionally on sale personalities are the Depression

It's psychosis. It's paranoid schizophrenia. You're not dealing with the issue in hand, you putting a name to it and it needs

And I think when the mental teams start to realise that short term fixes with mental health really don't solve the situation, then we can start to build back that bond between the trust from the public to the the specialist, especially in the Mental health service. Because, for example, if you go into another sector, for example, you've got cancer. It's a long term fix

Weeks of chemo, for example. But in mental health, it's take these meds every day, and you should be fine. That's not the fix the fix isn't 10 sessions of therapy that you think works the amount of times that I've been told to use coping techniques

But the coping techniques are absolutely ridiculous, and it felt like I was being dismissed. The guy sat there from the Access and prices team and said, Put your hands into the cold water and see how it makes you feel, then do the same with the hop. He then said, What cereal do you wait? So I was like, Whatever is in the house and he went, Do you just eat and swallow it? I was like, Yeah, because that's what normal people do, he went

Next time I want you to slowly chew it and think about all the flavours and the textures in your mouth. Make you feel and it just felt so patronising. It's like I didn't experience

The other day I went to the lighthouse projects in Middleton, thinking that they'll have some sensory ties. They help people within that sector. Um, obviously, the only way you can word it is sensory toys, but not toys

And I said to the lady behind a desk, Do you have any sensory equipment? we don't do ties, I said. They're not toys, the sensory equipment. We don't do tyres

I said they're not toys, but it was dead patronising the way she was coming across. And she said, We do toys at Christmas when we give them to kids who don't have any ties I said they're not. Toys were on about stress balls, tangles, fidget, spinners and stuff at the century ties

And I'm a big believer that in supermarkets and in busy places like, for example, if you need assistance around the store, you say to someone privately, we have that bit of support parents and and support workers of people who look after people with mental health issues and sensory issues should be able to go over to these people dead, silent and go. Do you have, for example, the noise cancelling headphones because they might be able to afford it if they've got any sensory toys? And I, for one, would personally benefit from that massively, because otherwise we're putting our earphones in, and then if our families don't understand that like you being ignorant, we're not, and it's just the whole bracket of mental health needs revamping from the top to the bottom. I mean, if everyone that worked for mental health services was like Jillian, my mental health worker, the world would be a miles better place

I just think it's absolutely terrible the way that were tripped. It's like you go to any. It should be an A and e part for mental health, because the amount of times I've been sat in the corridor and someone's got a cough or they've got a broken arm or a broken leg or something's happened, and it's like I understand it should be there

But I get anxious around Lords of people, and the issue then is they put me in a room on my own. But then because most of the issues that arrive at a physical issues, I'm then using up a room for someone who needs it. But then I also need it

It's helping to calm my anxiety down so they should be and then you wait there for so many hours for someone to come down, write a report and nine times out of 10, some of the stuff they put on the safety plans is stupid. I remember once I was unshared lives, and it was like I got sent home with a safety plan and on the safety plan. They haven't even told me what's on it

They don't even told Mackerras I was living at the time, and the safety plan literally just said to remove anything from the house that Alex can hurt himself with. So Burning Man didn't send me on to half 12 1 in the morning. So my parents are rushing around having away knives, card strings, anything that I could hurt myself with

That's not a functioning household for them when they're on shared lives. And trying to encourage people to, for example, were kind of knife skills in the kitchen or wanting to watch TV. And you had to remove all the wires because, like they think I'm going to hurt myself with them

It doesn't represent their bosses that shared lives say well, Alex can't live there because it's not a functioning household. If you've removed, told them through everything that they can hurt themselves with. They've got to a point where the only cutlery in the country Joel spoons You can't quite eat like all your food on a spoon, especially if you need a knife in the fall and then then gets reflected

Bottlenose is the, uh, service user that's dealing with those problems because they're like, Well, why are you feeling that you should be feeling fine because you're in a good place with people that you want to live with. Just because I'm living with someone I want to live with doesn't mean the mental health issue goes away. It doesn't disappear

And the big issue is like I keep saying is not being the same as physical health. Good mental health means good physical health. In my opinion, the way I look at it and they're saying that they give the right to wobble inducement about the better

Remember a year here in Africa. I got invited. It's a this survey where they ask you about your experiences with mental health because none of them wanted to listen

I walked out and then everyone with me was like Alex, we need you. You're the one that's driving the conversation there. You're the one that is looking like if we're going to get any changes because it's going to have come from your mouth to come back in that was 2

5 years ago. I haven't heard anything since. About that no changes made to the mental health system

Remember last year in a in A. They said to me by the time January forms the waiting times for mental health patients is going to be lower. And this was in August

I said some of those might not be so. It might not be alive in January. Why is it taking this long for people to sort of wake up and realise these people need help now they're not

And when you bring an ambulance and because it's not ready to say to like nine hours for an ambulance, I have to try and wait ones I might not be alive in nine hours. I might not be able to wait for nine hours. So the just need looking after the top to the bottom is all I can really say

Yeah, And I think, you know, you made some really, really hard hitting points and I agree with a lot of it because, you know, I would say I've met after all of myself. I've been through the system. I can relate to a lot of problems that you've raised that I think you're really saying the issues need to be dealt with from the very top

Worked the way down through the system. Um, so I think from that I'd like to say thank you very much for sharing your experience with me today. Um, it was really good of you to share as much as you shared

Um, we'll have a quick chat at the end of this recording just to kind of make sure you're okay. I discussed everything. Um, yeah

Thank you very much. It's not a problem.

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