Sorry we can’t offer you a service - message from the Fenland adult mental health team to a teenager who took her sixth overdose as a cry for help

Teenage girl suffering depression is signed out of Fenland adult mental health service

Teenage girl suffering depression is signed out of Fenland adult mental health service - Credit: Archant

A teenager has been signed out of the Fenland adult mental health service four months after taking her sixth overdose without receiving any one to one counselling.

A letter from the CPFT peronality disorders team

A letter from the CPFT peronality disorders team - Credit: Archant

A letter sent to her says: “There is nothing in your referral to indicate that further intervention is immediately required.’

It continues: “Currently we are not able to offer you a service. We have very limited places in our treatment programme” and enclosed a leaflet for her to contact the charity MIND instead.

The girl from March said: “I have been patiently waiting for a date to get one to one counselling so when this letter came with no warning I cried.

“On two occasions, I have gone to great effort to go to an appointment only to be told the clinician was away sick.

Steve Barclay MP

Steve Barclay MP - Credit: Archant


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“Both times, no one contacted me to inform me, this made me feel much worse as you mentally prepare to bring up touching topics, ready to off load and get help and advice.

“After the latest cancellation, I was discharged from one of the group therapies, which was meant to be part of my mental health plan.

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“I have been with the adult mental health service at Agenoria House in Wisbech for around two years, but the service has been inconsistent. “What is needed is regular sessions, even once monthly, routine and regularity is important, yet that is not happening, not just for me but for many people I speak to who use the service.”

For those suffering panic and anxiety, it is a struggle to attend appointments, she added, made worse by inconvenient public transport times and a lack of service in rural areas.

“A centre in March is needed as well as Wisbech, this would help so many people” she said.

One appointment was offered before she received the letter last week, but she said she was unable to take time off work and gave more than 48 hours cancellation notice.

Steve Barclay NE Cambs MP, said: “I was deeply concerned of this constituent’s case and experience and have raised the matter with Julie Spence, Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and the Fenland Adult Locality Team.

“Despite increased funding for mental health nationally, there remains a lack of mental health provision locally, particularly for young people.

“This needs to be addressed and I have been working with the CPFT, the County Council and local schools to look at what more can be done to tackle this and ensure that people who need support get it at the earliest opportunity.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust said: “If patients are unhappy with treatment or correspondence they have received we would encourage them to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

“Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can contact their CPFT care coordinator, their GP, Monday to Friday or our out of hours service via 0800 052 2252.”

Louise Chunn, founder of welldoing.org, a group that matches people with private therapists, said: “If there were better services for young people when they first experienced problems with depression, anxiety or other mental health problems, there were would be far fewer problems when they got older.

“It’s a false economy to not invest in young people’s counselling and therapy provision.”

• Have you experienced problems with the Fenland adult mental health service? Please contact us, anonymously if wished, john.elworthy@archant.co.uk or kath.sansom@archant.co.uk.

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