I had believed the hospital had sent a referral for me to attend YL, the youth counselling agency, when I was discharged. That’s what the doctor told me before I left, that’s what D, the hospital psychologist, has led me to believe for the past three weeks. Today however, D told me this wasn’t the case. This error was only realised yesterday and so it is only now an ‘urgent referral’ has been sent. “How come?” I asked him. He replied something to do with ‘hospital procedures.’ Right. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I should be much acquainted by now with how inefficient the mental health system can be. I’m lucky I have a GP who takes action in ensuring I am linked in with mental health services, and I’m lucky the hospital has made allowances for me to continue seeing D temporarily as an outpatient. Otherwise this error may not have even been picked up and I would have fallen through the cracks and been left with no support. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.
At the end of the session, D assured me that he can continue seeing me until I start with YL, and I also have Dr L, my GP. It didn’t escape my attention however that he had failed to mention a certain someone. “So is Dr T not seeing me any more?” I enquired. “That’s the impression I get,” he confirmed. Great, well it’s nice of people to explicitly tell me these things. I would’ve thought it’d be kinda important for me to know that the woman who’s been my psychiatrist for the past 1.5 years is now…not. I actually had an appointment scheduled with Dr T for the 20th of January. Do I now cancel it for the third; and last time? A year ago the belief that Dr T was going to stop seeing me as a patient was enough to prompt me to overdose. But now…I think maybe it’s for the best. The number of times I’ve left her office feeling more upset and at times suicidal… And I also suspect she declined to treat me as a patient when they were looking to admit me to a private psych hospital from the ED.
According to D, YL have psychiatrists. On their website though, it states, ‘The team is staffed by clinical psychologists, social workers and community mental health nurses.’ No mention of psychiatrists. If I’m right, the prospect of potentially not having a psychiatrist worries me a bit. But then again, lots of people with mental health issues manage without a psychiatrist, right?