Me and My Mental Health Story

Hi... I'm Chloe, I'm 18 years old and I'm from the UK

I used to love playing football and multiple sports. I say used too... When I was 13 or 14, everything changed for me, but life went on as normal. Well from the outside it would have seemed normal, but for me, it was far from it.

Mental Health is something that is extremely stigmatised in the UK and across the world. This is my ongoing battle with mental health and what my experience of being in the UK mental health system is like. Everyone's experiences are different... but here's my story.

**TRIGGER WARNING**

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5. Me and My CAMHS Experience (Part One)

I might as well say this straight away, my CAMHS experience hasn't really been a positive one. I got my first Initial Assessment with them in April. They asked questions about my mood, self harm and family history. The person I saw (we'll call her Mel) said that she was able to tell that I was quite obviously depressed and needed help quickly. I got it far from quick. I managed to get another appointment in May when I told her about my first overdose (second attempt). Mel referred me to one of the CAMHS psychiatrists and managed to get me an appointment the following week as she was concerned about the danger I was to myself. At this appointment, I also told her about the voices. She didn't say much about them so obviously didn't think it was anything serious. 

At my appointment with the psychiatrist the following week he also said that it was obvious I was depressed and needed help quickly. He asked me the same questions as Mel had and then prescribed me antidepressants. He arranged another appointment for a few weeks later. 
At our next appointment he just asked about how my mood had been and if the meds had had any affect or not, which they hadn't. He told me to carry on with them as they could be taking longer to get into my system. He ensured that I would get some individual work from another member of the CAMHS team.

I was still deteriorating at college and my tutor left for another job just before May half term. I carried on having weekly meetings with the head of safeguarding. I was in his office on a daily basis feeling at risk and suicidal. On a couple of a occasions I had cut in college which he was aware of. He pushed for another appointment at CAMHS as he felt I was deteriorating quickly after another four suicide attempts since the referral had taken place. He managed to get me an emergency appointment in June with a member of their team since Mel was on leave (we'll call her Freya).

In my appointment with Freya she knew about all of the previous attempts that college also new about. She asked me the same questions that Mel had, however she said she didn't know how the service would be able to help me as I was turning 18 in October (four months away). She recommended that I self refer to IAPT and she then discharged me. I hadn't received any therapy or help other than medication.  

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