Recently I have been trying to put mental health support in outside of my GP surgery through the local mental health services but this has proved very challenging, accessing this, waiting times and finding the correct person or therapy but that aside for now on a couple of occasions I would like to focus these thoughts on the NHS 111 service which I thought was a good idea, now regret calling them and was therefore pointless waste of time.
This service is really a limited triage service geared up towards physical health issues, in terms of mental health support all they are really interested in is if you are a danger to yourself or others or want to kill yourself then they would send the emergency services around to your home or recommend you go into A & E or the local walk in centre, the checklist they go through is more often than not irrelevant to what you are facing but they ask you anyway.
At best all they do is suggest you call some out of hours telephone based helplines and then you just get about 30 minutes so unless you have a plan of action of what to do if you are in crisis or not coping and cannot talk to any mental health support staff then if you are looking for any kind of intervention through this service you are very likely to be disappointed, you should and it always usually goes back to this is you go back to the GP, if you can get in the next day then that is your best route, this can be a good or bad thing for some at the mention of the two letters GP but for me my GP is amazing but sometimes I need more than what she is able to offer me so now I do not feel this particular forum is right.
The other draw back with this is that you cannot always talk to a clinician immediately compared to other helplines, they call you back, they then put notes on to their system so it is not anonymous and depending if you have a sensitive flag or not they will contact your GP and other agencies involved in your care, you can ask them not to but the reality is they will do it anyway.
Therefore in my experience using the NHS 111 service for mental health issues is not the best forum outside of GP hours and should use suggested national helplines instead.
What are your experiences of using NHS 111 for mental health support outside of GP hours?
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