Above is the letter I found in my collection bucket last year from Elle. Facebook sent me one of those reminders today that it was a year ago this event happened. Happy anniversary Elle. It’s to my great regret that things are not good for Elle just now and she is battling the most debilitating bout of depression she has ever had to endure. It’s so severe she has been under section for almost two months now.
Below I’m going to share the words I wrote a year ago when I shared the above photo on Facebook. Those words have already had two powerful responses on social media today and I will share and update those responses if more come in over the day.
Elle won’t hear a bad word said about the staff looking after her right now. That makes perfect sense. But what makes me furious is the fact that under this government our mental health services have been pushed to their limit and in many places broken. Fix it now you utter bastards. People are suffering.
POSTED 1 YEAR AGO ON FACEBOOK.
Yesterday I met with the person who wrote this. For confidentiality we’ll call her Elle. A more gentle, articulate and generous person you’d find hard to meet. We spoke about a lot of things, she kindly told me I’d perfectly pitched my show on Bipolar. That there was no sense of victimhood or wallowing in negatives, but still covered the core issues.
We spoke about the condition and had a laugh about how we had both developed a language for the symptoms that few folk could understand. Essentially an hour flew by.
However, it was also hard to see how heavily the condition had impacted on Elle’s life. To even meet me yesterday had taken had taken a huge effort. She was initially very on edge, but thankfully we diffused that with a joke and some reassurance.
We also, as I do in the show, spoke a lot about the NHS. Elle more than most is fully aware that the NHS is now at breaking point if not already broken. It makes me angry that we haven’t managed to get her back on her feet and making the great contributions to society she is obviously capable of.
There is only one way we can repair our health service and that is to be rid of this despicable government. A government who’d happily sell it off to the likes of Richard Branson. A man who’s entire motivation is to generate maximum profit to the detriment of customer care. (Just get on one of his trains for evidence) If you think this is all just the way of things then it’s you that’s deluded not us.
POSTED IN RESPONSE ON FACEBOOK TODAY.
- I‘m waiting on a high priority referral for a more specific diagnosis which I suspect is BP/a form of BP. I’m still waiting for an appointment but they’re really struggling with waiting times. Thanks for being so open about it!
- My daughter is hyperactive and now that she is going through puberty the resulting hormone fluctuations along with her inability to focus and pay attention is causing no end of psychological distress to her and some days she is just lost and distraught, tearful then manic, unable to pinpoint what the problem is. It took us two years to get a routine paediatric appointment because the department recently moved from the local hospital to a “special unit”. When we finally got there I tried to discuss her mental health problems and we were both told “this is only a medication review for her current meds. If you want to discuss mental health you will have to go back to your GP and get referred”. After waiting all that time we both came away in tears. I took her to the GP who said that because she is a child she is the responsibility of the paediatric department, not the adult metal health services they offer and so he has written a letter back to paeds. I do not expect a response. The system is failing her and all we can do is be there to hold her and reassure her that she will be ok. Having worked for the NHS at our local surgery for 5 years I have noticed the rapid decline in our services, especially mental health and particularly the mental health of our young people. It is disgusting. I am so, so pleased that you took the time to meet this lady as it must have taken her a lot of courage to write that letter. It is truly sad that we live in an age where even health has become a commodity to be bought and sold for profit while the fat cats enjoy the very best of healthcare. Truly awful. I wish her all the best, and you. x