Experiences of phoning a crisis line?

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Has anyone experience of phoning an urgent advice line / single point of access line when in a mental health crisis? Also how effective are crisis teams / what can they actually do? Do you have to be in immediate danger before anyone comes round?

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  • Posted

    Are you in the UK? Because I only have experience of calling the Crisis Team (Mental Health) in the UK.

    My neighbour is young and has a diagnosed mental health condition. She comes to me for help when she's in a crisis. This has happened many, many times.

    I'm sorry to say that they are totally useless. Even though on many of the occasions we phoned them, she WAS in immediate danger, they still didn't come round - in fact on one night they didn't answer their so-called Emergency line for 53 minutes (we counted.)

    As to 'What can they actually do' - well, I daresay they COULD do lots of helpful things, but they never do. They also get instructions from psychiatrists, to tell them to visit particular patients daily. hahahahahahaha

    Well, they might turn up on ONE day, then they decided to ignore the doctor's instructions and don't bother to come again.

    I'm sorry if this sounds awful and exaggerated but it the truth. I shall be interested to see what others write.

    Honestly, if you're in immediate danger, call the police. They have a duty of care for people in mental health crises and at least you have the advantage that they won't leave until something is sorted out (I.e. - the police phone the Crisis Team, get nowhere, then eventually take you to the nearest mental hospital and take you to a designated suite, where after a few hours, the Crisis Team will appear)

    The police are MUCH nicer to you than the mental health team.

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  • Posted

    I've had dealings with crisis lines and local crisis teams. I have to say the crisis lines were much more helpful and comforting than the local crisis teams. I found the local teams an absolute disgrace, they offered absolutely no help or support, I'm absolutely disgusted with them really. It may be different depending on your area, but in my area they are an embarrassment

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  • Posted

    When my CMHT is closed ( weekends , night time , Bank Holidays ) then i sometimes  the CRISIS Home Treatment ( since early 2015 ) once i had got the courage as i have a phobia with ringing professional people so it can take me hours , i have found them good , if my breathing is bad ( anxiety ) then whoever i get usually helps me work through it until i am ready to speak , they will chat with me , call a Ambulance when i have have taken too many tablets , at one time they emailed my CMHT and told them to sort out some support when i didn't have one week ( the gentleman i see may have been on leave - cannot remember the reason ) , because of difficulties with the phone , my psychiatrist when i saw her the other week ( the gentleman who i see at the centre sits in these appointments with me ) said it would be easier for me to be able to email CRISIS so they could then phone me but CRISIS do not have email and i said it wouldn't be fair to other people needing their help , CRISIS are far better then Duty Workers at my CMHT - they are ompletely useless , i think it is like any area of the NHS - healthcare differs from town , county to another town , county - some are good , some are not so .

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    • Posted

      Sorry  -  i should had mentioned that my CRISIS people are connected to the CMHT's in my area so the Nurse Practitioners can look at my record ( Computer ) and see my case - who i see at CMHT , my illnesses , medication , etc ,

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  • Posted

    I've read the three responses so far. It is worrying and does sound very variable.Since having mental health problems I have realised how difficult it it to get the right care and support.

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    • Posted

      Couldn't agree more, I've suffered many years but a few years ago was at my lowest,i was at desperation point - and the help just wasn't there. And still isn't. It's really pathetic

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  • Posted

    I have worked crisis lines and suicide help lines. Our teams were well trained and very good. We had one hand on the phone and the other on a second phone to call appropriate agencies if we couldnt. help directly.

    Like with anything on earth from senators to pizza servers, from doctors to barbers, some suit us and some don't. The part of our job in anything we want or need is to find the right one for us. We don't negate all barbers because we got a haircut we don't like, we find one we do like...right? wink

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    • Posted

      I appreciate that you have worked for some crisis lines etc. However dealing with people in crisis is much more serious than ordering a pizza or having a haircut. It can be a matter of life or death and people in crisis are often unable to shop around..
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    • Posted

      Cia, darling, this is the UK and all we have for people in mental health crisis are the Mental Health Crisis teams, which are made up of mental health nurses.

      We don't have the choices you have in the US. If our very unexcellent 'Crisis Teams' do nothing, that is usual.

      If people are suicidal they can call Samaritans, who are not allowed to give health advice out.

      The only other option here is to call the police, who (in my experience) do the best job. They won't leave a mental health patient in crisis until they've sorted the thing out - even if it takes them hours - which it usually does. I had to call them for my neighbour, and after a few hours, the new shift came to take over!!!!

      On one memorable occasion, after four police officers, me, my neighbour and my husband had spent HOURS getting nowhere with the hahaha Crisis Team, I had a flash of inspiration. I called the hospital where these clowns were based and asked to speak to the senior doctor on duty that day.

      Possibly because I have a posh English accent and because, being a nurse, I know what to say, the sneiot doctor was on the line within a minute. I explained the problem. He was horrified when I gave him the patient's symptoms.........called back ten minutes later and said he was personally going to be at the hospital to admit the patient if the police would just kindly bring her down there - which they did.

      People should not have to go through this nonsense.

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    • Posted

      Another option is to call an ambulance if you're suicidal or in a severe mental health crisis.

      BUT................................................... all they can do is take you to the nearest General Hospital, who then spend eight hours trying to get the Crisis Team to come to A & E aand see the luckless patient.

      hahahahahaha so round we go in circles..............I went with my poor neighbour once because she was terrrified. We hung around in the A & E for five hours before a very grumpy Crisis Team turned up.

      After listening to her symptoms (there was a devil inside her telling her to kill herself and if she didn't all her family would have to be killed by her, she was hearing voices and seeing what she described as 'goo' coming out of the walls and floor) the Crisis Team said she was fine and discharged her. One of them was actually asleep while the other asked the questions.

      We are talking about a 20 year old girl with a serious diagnosis.

      I exploded. Why is she okay to take home??? I yelled at them.

      Oh, answered the one that was awake, because she doesn't lack mental capacity.

      THEN I GOT REALLY ANGRY AN SAID (God forgive me ) THIS IS THE MAD LOOKING AFTER THE MAD1 and took my poor neighbour home till her mum could get to her. In the meantime, she cut her wrist.

      That's the effing reality of the Crisis Team at work (and asleep.)

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    • Posted

      Unbelieveable!!!! I would have thought the UK would be older and wiser than the US. I feel so incredably fortunate. I pay practically nothing for anything being a senior and on Medicare. From what you tell us here, everyone should first call the Bobbies. (do you still call them that?)

      It makes me wish with all my heart that I could do something about that. I want to take this opportunity to remind North Americans how lucky we are.

      I spent three years living in Mexico, in my opinion a third world country, and the health care system there was better than yours. I am stunned!!!!!!! Thanks for the input and thank you for who you are and what you do, Tess. You are awesome, girl.eek

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your input Caroline. I certainly was in crisis in the recent past. The point I apparantly did not make very well at all, was to call another crisis line.

      Until Tess told me the sutuation in the UK, I had no idea that even what they do have isn't on duty 24 hours. Often, we do not know what country someone is. I am learning how different health care is in different countries. Some seem obvious and others really shock me with their lack of care available in crisis.

      I continue to learn, research, and listen to all here, ( like you,) in order to give the best help I can. Again, thank yoo for speaking up, girl. wink

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    • Posted

      Bobbies? Well, the Scots call them The Polis, the Irish call them either the Polis or The Guards, and I'm not sure what the Welsh call them.

      In England, they are often called The Police. Or The Old Bill.

      I haven't heard anyone call them Bobbies since about 1802 hahaha.

      Anyway......................................................

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  • Posted

    whenever I have phoned the crisis line  they have gone home because they only work the day shift.
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