Petition on crisis care delayed

14 February 2017

The Assembly Petition Committee have delayed their decision on whether to consider a petition on how to deal with access to mental heath care in Wales.

73 people have signed the petition started by Laura Williams, from Ely, who’s calling for crisis care to become more accessible to people with mental health problems, after her own experience struggling to get help.

Ms Williams says she’s suffered with PTSD, anxiety disorder, OCD and depression since 2012.

She says the Welsh Government need to do more to help people who are having a mental health crisis and is disappointed with the committee’s decision.

Ms Williams first went to her GP 10 months ago, when the still-birth of her child made her depression worse and caused her to have panic attacks.

“I was self-harming really badly. My doctors knew about it. I was constantly ringing them. I was crying down the phone to reception, saying I need help.”

But she says she wasn’t told about specialised help that was available.

“There was no mention of any crisis team. No leaflets, no advice.”

Crisis care is a more specialised form of treatment that patients can receive once they have been referred by their local mental health service, or when they’ve successfully referred themselves.

But Ms Williams says not enough people are told by their doctors that it exists.

In a statement, Mind Cymru said “we’re deeply concerned that some crisis care services appear to be struggling to support people with mental health problems.

“We know excellent crisis care exists, but we need it available for everyone.

“Good services can make a huge difference to whether someone recovers from the crisis, yet Mind often hears from people who have been turned away.

“We are calling on the Welsh government to increase funding for mental health services by at least two per cent each year for the next five years, so that people in crisis can get the help they need, when they need it.”

The Welsh Government has set out its aims to improve access to crisis care in its Mental Health Strategy 2016-19.

It says more “robust links” need to be created between GPs and crisis care services.

The Welsh Assembly say it’s too early for them to comment.

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