Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

Cause a crisis team.


Today I read on the BBC News website about Crisis teams being a measure that lowered suicide rates. My thoughts? Well put it this way, I don’t call ours ’cause a crisis team’ for no reason. Don’t get me wrong there are individuals, though few and far between that are wonderful, do an amazing job and I couldn’t complain about those, however the bad eggs far outweigh the good causing a completely rubbish team.

In fact I don’t even know where to begin in our shocking experience of them. Perhaps having one of them ring me, I explained it was late (9pm) and Chris was asleep and it would be better to talk in person the following day, she ended up hanging up on me. Then there was the time that Chris discharged himself in the heat of a moment on a Saturday and they called Social services duty team and told them he was a drug addict and an alcoholic, cue me trying to explain to social services over the phone at 10pm on a Saturday night how they had been given the wrong facts. I enquired as to what they had done it was put down to a ‘communications error’. Maybe the time that they forgot to bring his medication, or never carried out a visit, or they came out after he was referred by a psychiatrist and just discharged him. Oh and the time that they rang up Chris’ dad, to this day we don’t know where they got his number from, perhaps in old notes, and started asking his dad what our contact details were despite them using them on many occasions. Perhaps even the fact that they have been so unprofessional on every level that they took things personally, Chris wouldn’t stay in hospital and because they didn’t like the fact he got scared and ran they just discharged him without telling him. Finally the fact that now they won’t even accept him as a patient, consultant inpatient psychiatrist sent Chris on leave under their care and they didn’t bother, he was discharged on a Friday under their care and rang them for help on a Sunday night when no one else could help him to be told ‘we never accepted you as a patient, goodbye’ which made Chris feel even more suicidal than before he rang. Yet they hadn’t even told the Psychiatrist or his Social worker that actually no one was looking after him.. Good job he had me really isn’t it.

Now you see why both Chris and I don’t like them, and why we call them ’cause a crisis team’ because that’s all we get with them, issues, yet one thing Chris will always need at various times in his life is extra support, who will provide that? Yes even I’m not sure! One huge thing that happened last year, something so unprofessional and astounding that I’ve still not got myself over it, I have taken further via NHS complaints and once the process is complete, and my goodness its dragging as it started last September, I will share that with you too.

My journey with Chris, has been as much about battling services and correcting their mistakes as it has been about looking after him, the person who really is my world. You add that to being a mum to the three most amazing little girls, keeping the household running, finances etc, trying to get by from one day to the next was hard. The people who were meant to be helping me and my family by helping Chris were the ones that were creating a nightmare for us.


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

9 thoughts on “Cause a crisis team.

  1. I think most crisis teams are like this. My local crisis team often tells me not to call them because I am wasting their time and when they do have advice for me when I am suicidal etc they usually just tell me to watch TV.

  2. Totally agree with the above!! They called my mums phone as well instead of mine once – had some explaining to do to her at that point!!!

    I have had them involved twice now and to this day I’ve never understood what their actual role is. Noone seems to have had a good experience with them!! And I’ve overhead people in here talking about how bad they are!!

    • I dont know their actual role either. We have been told the only way they will ever work with Chris again is if WE specify in what way they are to work with him… ermm isnt that their job? I dont know.

      • My friend had a scarily similar experience – she was referred to a crisis team in an acute crisis triggered by a bereavement of an ex-partner.. Her friends were all worried sick about her as she lives alone & when traumatised doesn’t eat or drink & self- harms. She was in a terrible state & her self-harm injuries had become badly infected – not to mention her mental distress. We couldn’t work out why the crisis team – who had been requested to visit – only made one visit and didn’t come back. We later learnt that this was because they rang her a couple of times and she didn’t answer her phone so they decided she was refusing to have a service from them. However, they know that when things are bad for her she can’t ‘do’ phones. She was left for 10 days with no support. Luckily an incredible group of friends supported her – taking it in turns to stay there & be with her. Her GP was great too. When the services did get involved again they said they’d give her help – what help did she want? She, quite rightly, said that she couldn’t even dress herself at that point & had no idea what help she needed – as you say she (& we) thought that their job should at least include suggesting what they could do to help & giving her some options – but no – up to her to think it through. She has had no apology, in fact she has been told that it’s her fault the service didn’t support her as she ‘pushed them away’. Worse, despite a meeting between the ‘professionals’, my friend and a group of her friends, we are no nearer working out how to get her a service if this happens again. The irony is her CPN has told her that her friends aren’t helping her by stepping in, but are making things worse. How can caring for someone, making sure they eat & drink & take meds be bad for them when they can’t do it themselves?

  3. Egad, how wretched! I agree, most of the widely suggested methods for distracting oneself from suicidal thoughts and feelings are complete garbage. They don’t even work that well for anxiety, for crying out loud!

    Crisis teams in the US seem to be limited to very large cities, so UK bloggers were the first people from whom I heard about this. I think most people are left with suicide hotlines and hospital ERs as their only real options in that kind of situation.

  4. It is sad that these so called crisis team offer no help at all. Do not give up and I hope you find the help and support you need. God bless I am praying for you.

  5. i have also had horrible experiences with crisis teams. currently when i see my psychologist i am linked to an out of hours crisis team as i can only call my psych during business hours. i mostly refuse to call them which always ends with me acting on the impulses for SH/suicide. I called them the other day and told them i had a heap of new psychotic symptoms and couldn’t cope with them and was really unsafe, she said she’d talk to the team and call back, 8 hours later a guy called back and said well i don’t really know whats happening but we might call you tomorrow.

    i wish i had a solution for everyone who struggling with crisis services.

    take care

    • Its really awful, and potentially very dangerous how some of these teams get away with acting. I really hope if you have to experience them again that its alot more positive for you. Take care

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