A digital place for people who access services, carers, staff and partner agencies, to share ideas around care co-ordination & care planning in mental health

Sadly of late I’ve heard a lot of negativity around services. With the many cuts, closures and changes its effected everyone on some level from the doctors to volunteers and from facilitator to service users. Not only have I heard complaints about such things but also and even more importantly I’ve heard a lot of judgments about services in general.
This I guess is nothing new but it doesn’t make it ok.
I understand where some of the frustrations come from being a service user myself I have often felt annoyed and let down by certain services in particular. The problem is the more we become negative about services the less people are helped and understood.

I found myself recently talking to a carer, a father who was losing all hope in his daughters recovery. With the many cuts to services his fear was she wouldn’t receive the help and support she so desperately needed. I felt concerned myself as all their hopes seemingly were in one basket and I didn’t want to be the one to cause anymore distress or disappointment.
I did feel compelled though to be honest and if nothing else I can speak from experience after being in and out of various services for a number of years myself.

Carefully I explained to him that although the service he hoped for was exceptional, highly skilled and specialised and of no doubt would be of some help to his daughter that actually it may not be their saving grace.
As much as I understand and appreciate it takes more than one person to make a service/team work I also believe it can take just one individual to really make the difference. One service may no longer be available but all was never lost. It may take a little more work or perseverance and it may take a little more time but his daughter would find someone to help, understand, support and care. Across all services there are many individuals who are more than capable to offer such things and help in his daughters recovery. The answers don’t necessarily lie within a service as a whole but more in two people making a connection, sharing a trust, an openness, an understanding and most importantly a willingness to try.

What I walked away thinking is how much I truly believe in this and that professionals and service users alike need to try work on difficulties in relationships, have a willingness and patience in one another. I also think it’s important to except that sometimes personalities clash and if they do it’s no fault of anyone’s but all parties need to work together to make it work for the service user because unfortunately if not it’s a waste of everyone’s time, effort and sadly can make recovery even harder.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because it truly saddens me when I hear such negativity around services, such frustration and a sense of all being lost and I believe if we all could show a little more openness, acceptance and appreciation recovery will be more likely and a little easier for all. I hate the thought people who are struggling are feeling alone and that life’s hopeless because they’ve had one negative experience within a service and I want to say in a long-winded way it’s most certainly not and they need to persevere because their will be someone who can and will help.

I am really interested to hear about anyone’s personal experiences with mental health workers/services and or opinions.

Do you think in your experience it’s the skills and knowledge within a team or the individual relationship you have with a worker that has helped more?


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Dr Sally Pezaro

This is the research blog of Dr Sally Pezaro. Sally is 'The Academic Midwife' working to secure excellence in teaching and maternity services. Specialist interests include maternity services, workforce and midwifery research.



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