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Mental Health Blog: Bedfordshire Resident Felicity Stocker

17 August 2017


Bedfordshire resident Felicity Stocker blogs on what mental health crisis means to her and how the service can be improved, encouraging people to take part in the Mental Health Crisis Care survey. (survey now closed)

Having suffered from stress, anxiety and depression for many years, I have got to know first-hand what mental health care is like in Bedfordshire. When you are going into crisis there is an overwhelming feeling that there is nobody there for you, and it can be terrifying. My GP was very understanding and put me in touch with the Mental Health services. There I found people who would care for me and were friendly, understanding and knowledgeable in supporting me in my recovery. Later I was able to reflect on my care and thought that improvements could be made in finding services and information before the situation became a crisis. This is when you can feel stuck and lonely and not knowing where to go.

As a Mental Health service user I know that it is vital that the public get involved in shaping the future of crisis services in Bedfordshire. When a person is in mental health crisis they are at a point where professional help is required. They don't know who to speak to, where to go or how to explain their feelings when their mental health is deteriorating. There could soon be involvement from their local GP, police, community workers, hospital and mental health specialists. This can only add to their confusion.

When I heard that the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group had plans to improve Crisis Mental Health services I jumped at the opportunity to be involved. I was pleased that they wanted to ask people who have experienced the service for their views. I wanted to use my own experiences (and those of others) to demonstrate how the service could be improved for other people. I wanted to make a positive difference to the service and this was an opportunity to make my voice heard. I believe passionately in the NHS and the people who work within it. As an experienced service user for several years, I felt that I was in the best position to give MY views. Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group currently has a questionnaire running on their website. I would encourage others (and their carers) who have experienced the Crisis service to get involved and complete the questionnaire. Involvement of service users can be seen as tokenistic, but this time I have seen a genuine desire from the BCCG staff to hear service users' views so that a more responsive service is developed. 

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