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

Crisis Care? What is that? Part Two.

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Following on from Crisis Care? What is that? I thought I would continue explaining what has been happening lately, or more to the point what hasn’t been happening. On Wednesday, his social worker showed up to our house, I handed her the letter and then lead the girls upstairs to their bedroom where we coloured, had a pretend teddy bears picnic, discussed where various foods came from like milk and eggs before Chris appeared. His social worker wanted to speak with me before she left. He remained upstairs with them and I went downstairs, his social worker firstly pulled me up on the following line out of my letter which read ‘Firstly you said that for Chris this is an ongoing problem that we all need to learn to manage.’ She said she didn’t agree with this line and wasn’t trying to say he just needed to deal with it, so I again went over exactly what I meant by it and the fact it was why they weren’t getting other services involved. Not sure to this day if she actually understood but she was pleased I had written it all down for her because ‘it helps.’

The plan was that she would be attending the weekly ‘Team meeting’ on the Thursday morning that Chris consultant always attends and they would discuss things with her there, show her my letter and see what they could put in place with her help, that someone would ring us in the afternoon and let us know what they came up with and see how we continued to move forward. I also went into all my reasons as to why I wanted his diagnosis properly sorting now and the excuse ‘it doesn’t matter because we treat the symptoms’ was no longer good enough for me.  She left saying someone would call us the following day and that was that.

Thursday afternoon I received a phone call, it was the social worker who had visited the previous day and it went something like this:

Hello Sarah unfortunately I didn’t make the team meeting this morning due to a disaster at home, the manager made Chris an appointment for him to see his Psychiatrist but unfortunately that isn’t until next Wednesday. How is he doing? Will he speak to me? Goodbye

I answered how he was with the same as when she last saw him, that he was still struggling and very very low, and that because of this I was tired as well. I had then passed the phone to Chris for him to speak to her but all in all the conversation just seemed pretty pointless. I felt let down though, his consultant didn’t see my letter, she didn’t hear anything off either social worker because one doesn’t work Thursdays and the other had her own issues. Again Chris care was suffering because of other people, my letter seemed to fall again upon deaf ears and again I had to get him to the Friday at least until he next saw the other social worker. Even that wasn’t organised, she doesn’t work Thursdays and the other one didn’t know what time she was seeing him for so said she would ring us in the morning to let us know.

On Friday after being told someone would ring us with the time his social worker was due out it was getting later and later when I had had enough of the waiting and decided I would find out for myself. She was out on visits but the receptionist said according to whatever she had in front of her, he was due a visit at one o’clock. Now having this information I made arrangements for the girls to be looked after. With me being worried about how we will manage with no support over the weekend I thought it imperative that I was there when she came. As I was just arriving at Chris dad’s front door my phone started ringing, his dad had had to come back from town early in order for the girls to be looked after and we had got the girls to him, it was half past twelve, then I get the following phone call:

Hello Sarah, I have just left a message on your landline, I am sorry but I can’t come at one o’clock, I have to go and be an appropriate adult at the police station, I have to go. I will come out at 4 o’clock instead and I know this isn’t ideal because of the children. I hope this is ok.

Well to that I replied ‘I am not happy at all, but it is going to have to be isn’t it, I shall see you later’ She apologised again and put the phone down. I was livid, so angry, again Chris was left because of someone else, I couldn’t understand why she was the only person who was able to go and do this. Why wasn’t the duty worker going? Why couldn’t they have sent someone else to Chris? 4 o’clock seemed pointless; I mean she can’t put anything in place that late on in the day. Nothing really made much sense, that was until I got home and listened to the message she had left on our answering machine:

Hi Sarah and Chris, I can’t make it at one o’clock I am DUTY WORKER today and I have to go and be an appropriate adult at the police station. Please let me know if four o’clock is ok instead.

My thoughts were DUTY WORKER? Thanks for mentioning that before, now if she had of done I would have been able to tell her this would have happened, I would have argued his other social worker should arrange to see him so he is guaranteed to be seen before the weekend to review him and see if anything else can be put in place. Not a rush visit at the end of the day so they can tick a box to say he is still alive and will manage himself over the weekend because let’s face it being seen on their way home gives them no time to do any referrals or get him a bed in hospital. Fine for her who can go home without a care in the world while I deal with the reality of how unwell Chris is. At this moment in time though I had to wonder if she would even make it at the end of the day, who knows how long she could have ended up stuck at the police station. All I knew was that Chris wasn’t getting the care he needed… again!

Story continues ‘Crisis Care? What is that? Part Three’


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.

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