If you have read the news headlines in recent times you will probably know there is a much predicted mental health crisis going on, with some papers reporting that even people in severe distress are being refused help thanks to the ‘SIM’ approach NHS services have been instructed to implement. Today we talk about what this is and why it might be a death sentence to those of us with this disorder. You don’t need me to tell you that there is a TRIGGER WARNING attached to this article, so read on at your own risk…
The main source of this story is from the “i” newspaper, but I do know of multiple other sources telling much the same story. The problem is there was always going to be a national mental health crisis with a global pandemic going on, so that means a LOT more people needing the right help and advice. Plus in some extreme circumstances, some people might need hospitalization. Sadly it seems even people in those ‘extreme circumstances’ are not getting any help thanks to a controversial scheme that is being used to withhold treatment from them.
That scheme is the ‘SIM’ approach to offering help. The Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) model is described as “an innovative mental health workforce transformation model that brings together the police and community mental health services, in order to better support ‘ high-intensity users’ of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act (MHA) and public services.” While this support model was first implemented in South London boroughs, it has now been implemented through all Englands NHS mental health services.
On paper this model of approach does seem like a good idea with a much more integrated, informed, calm approach in the way services respond to individuals that have unique needs during a crisis like those of us with BPD. But sadly this method is being enforced because NHS services are pushing people into it and away from the hospitals. This means when people who go to a hospital in need of mental health support, even after being advised to do so by their own doctors are then being once again turned away and told to use local mental health services rather than being hospitalised…of which there are no services on offer! You don’t need me to tell you where this could well lead.
While I am of course super angry to read this sort of news I am also aware that these are extraordinary times and visiting a hospital is not always an option in these times of Coivd. But we are not talking about people who are in a small amount of distress here, we are talking about people at high risk of suicide, with some even having done so multiple times before and still getting turned away.
It is stories like this that make our blood boil here at BPD.ORG.UK, but it also makes up even more determined to get the funding we need to help those of you with BPD, to get the right help and advice through private, professional services. While we are not quite there yet this is indeed our end goal and we will push even harder for that funding now thanks to stories like this showing us that it might well be the only way forward for many of us with the life-inflicting disorder.