It’s that time of the year again, Budgets cut and services under threat.
Hi, I would like to tell you of a service that, due to it’s not being ‘clinical’, is viewed as surplus to requirements, well actually it is not just one.
The services are called ECHO (Brighter Futures) and
NSV (North staffs Voice)
Echo is a self harm group (no that is not ‘just cutting’). It can cover a multitude of different ways one places themselves in harms way. Some are more socially acceptable, some less obvious, but all are a way of coping, a way to control something in an uncontrollable life, a way to ‘feel’ something that deadens the pain of something else so that the ‘healing’ process can begin. It is not a cry for attention and ECHO is not a place to swap ideas.
What it is, and probably most importantly, is a place where you will not be judged. You will however receive support and advice on how to break the cycle of self harm. This can come from one-to-one support, complimentary therapies, art groups and workshops that look at the emotions and feelings that can trigger a self harm response.
This group works! It is why if you are over 18 and in North Staffs you have a good chance of being referred to it by the doctor/psychiatrist.
However I have heard that if you self harm and have the support of this NON CLINICAL group, it has been deemed sufficient enough to STOP access to clinical support in some areas.
Just think about that for a minute, it would not be allowed to happen with a physical diagnosis, Oh you are being a sports therapist, well you don’t need the GP then.
But that is off topic. This service IS recognised for the work it does. It can
get someone off meds (saving, in my case I was told £500 a month, for one med, unbelievable)
stop visits to the accident unit, and before you judge think how drink related cases are just classed as a ‘weekend thing’,
stop admittance in the mental hospitals
and get people living their life free of self harm
As a side note, it can also improve their life in general, get someone through the educational system and improve their chances to landing a job, then being able to keep it.
If the system is relying more and more on the support that these groups offer as they cut NHS services and the support that they can offer, then where is the logic on putting all the work the NON clinical services have done at risk?
Personally it has been the support of these groups NOT the support of the NHS that have managed to keep me off the prescribed medication that has been dropped off.
I am not dismissing the work of the psychiatrist or psychologists nor the counsellors, but the waiting lists can be long and I currently have four hours a YEAR in appointments and support from the NHS compared to five days a week access to Brighter futures, with appointments not usually required, depends on what I want to talk about.
This is under threat and studies have shown an increase in self harm and it is not a teen thing, far from it.
Echo can help, for now, but it requires support to be there for the next generation coming through and to be there for the generations just starting to ask for help now.
To contact either charity follow these links
To donate to either of these charities please follow the links bellow.
Brighter Futures Donations