Mental health care organisation is asking service users for feedback
- Credit: Archant
Healthwatch North Somerset is seeking feedback through a survey from mental health service users to find out how they coped during lockdown.
Joe Perkins, from Clapton-in-Gordano, lives with a mental health condition called depersonalisation disorder, and got in touch with Healthwatch to share his experience of battling to get help.
It was due to a clerical error, when he was told he had been referred to mental health services eight months prior, but the referral was never sent by his GP surgery, which meant he was never referred for further treatment.
He is now supporting Healthwatch North Somerset’s survey, as he believes speaking up is the only way for people using services to connect with decision-makers so they really know how the pandemic has affected access to care and treatment in North Somerset.
Joe said: “I think it’s incredibly important to hear what life is like for service users going through mental health services.
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“Asking for help is such a difficult thing for so many people, and the bureaucracy involved can be so daunting that it feels like a lot of hardship for very little reward. The only way to get an idea of how the process really affects service users is to ask them directly.”
A Healthwatch spokesman said: “One in four people will experience a mental health problem in England, and lockdown has taken a huge toll on the nation’s collective wellbeing.
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“Yet mental health services are being disrupted, and people who need or should be receiving treatment are finding themselves left without support.
“Healthwatch is running the survey to find out more the way mental health services have operated during lockdown.”
The charity collects feedback from health and social care service users, then makes recommendations to service providers and commissioners to help them improve the care they provide.
To share your feedback with Healthwatch North Somerset, you can fill in its anonymous mental health survey by logging on to surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N5DPLM3 by Saturday.