A Louth area man has delivered a damning verdict on the support available for patients with mental health issues in Lincolnshire, after revealing he has struggled for the last six years to get the help he desperately needs.
Six years ago, Richard* was like any other teenager, enjoying school life and a passion for sport.
Suddenly in 2011, Richard’s life changed forever when he suffered a traumatic head injury after being beaten up.
His assailants were punished in the courts, but the life Richard once had was over.
Since then, Richard - who is 24 - has spent many hours in rehabilitation for his injuries.
Treatment is still ongoing. However, Richard says the treatment is not targeting ‘the demons’ that have been left in his mind following the assault.
He has been in and out of therapy for over six years.
He’s undergone counselling, had therapy sessions and seen a psychiatrist.
Richard says he has now reached ‘breaking point’.
He says he feels like he has been pulled from pillar to post by so many different treatments that don’t seem to be working.
He is now pleading for the help he urgently needs .
He said: “My life has changed so much over the last six years.
“Family relationships have broken down and my friends don’t know what to do.
But he still says: “I feel worthless and isolated, everything has just fallen apart.”
Richard says there have been many times when he’s slipped into such dark places that he’s wanted to take his own life.
He admits he has attempted suicide.
He adds: “It’s like I have died already.
“Just trying to get up and finding the strength to get my clothes on can be a challenge.
“I don’t know what to do with myself from one hour to the next.
“I feel petrified to even go out in public.”
Richard has had a six-year battle with therapy, on and off.
He has been receiving support from the NHS Mental Health Services, based at Windsor House in Louth.
He admits he’s had to cancel some of his pre-arranged sessions for personal reasons and claims because of that,he has been denied the psychiatric help he was receiving and still desperately needs.
He explains: “It is an on-going battle to try and get the help that I urgently need.
“I have had to cancel appointments before, giving them prior notice, which they said was fine.
“But now, they have turned round and discharged me from therapy.
“Yes, sometimes I get very angry and can get filled with rage but that’s all part of my condition, I can’t control it.”
He said most of the therapists he has seen say he has anger issues but he said he had not yet been given the required support for that – and for the other issues he is dealing with.
He says: “Every time I keep pleading my heart out to someone, telling them how I feel. But then, a couple of weeks later, I am saying it to someone else, as the original person has left, or has gone on holiday.
“They just say it’s an anger issue, but they’re not looking deep enough. I know there’s so much more to it than that.”
Richard is adamant that he has had very limited help from the health profession and he believes that is due to lack of funding.
He adds: “I need round the clock help and support.
“If someone goes away and I am left for a week, my symptoms get worse and I go downhill again.
“I need the consistency in support, which is what I’m not getting.”
Richard fears that because he lives rural area - and with funding cuts across the NHS nationally - he won’t get the support he needs.
He says: “I need urgent help, daily help with a specialist that deals with patients who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries.
“I’m just so frustrated, no-one understands what it is like to be me and that nobody can seem to guide me out of the darkness.
“I need urgent help right now, before it is too late.”
*Richard is not his real name as we have respected his and his family’s wishes not to identify him.
The Leader contacted the NHS Mental Health Team for a comment, but at the time of going to press (Tuesday lunchtime, June 27) we had not recieved a reply.