A picnic is just not a good idea
Today I asked my Autistic brother if he would like to go on a picnic tomorrow. ‘Not really.’ he said, ‘that’s what children do.’ So, I thought in the light of him still being in the care of the NHS, he may like a day out. I had no idea he would think a picnic was silly. I thought it would be a great idea. Get him out in nature. Have some snacks and things he likes, and then chat about the next phase. No. Firstly, it isn’t good if the sky is grey, secondly that means he has to eat outside and that is uncomfortable. Who knew?
As many if you will know I’ve been on a little ‘journey’!
Oh how I laugh! Anyone who has read my book will know how much I find that over worked phase so funny! But I have. A journey of discovery about my brother. My brother who has over the past few years reached crisis point with his mental health. My brother who never ticked enough of the right boxes when asking for a social worker, and so has always been under the radar. Under the radar until he pops up having done something really silly and getting himself arrested, or in trouble with the council, or the neighbours. In trouble because he gradually became psychotic. The psychosis masked his autism, and so he was only ‘helped’ when he was a serious risk.
It’s a vicious circle
For those of you who have had dealings with Adult Social Care, you will know that getting help is just impossible. There is little funding and lack of staff. Unless you are at crisis point. Then the crisis team gets involved. Medication is given, the person is made safe, and then off they go back home with some sort of support for a few weeks until they are ‘ok’, then the team move on to others in need. Then, 18 months later, the person becomes unwell, because they decide to stop taking their meds. They stop taking the meds because they think they are better.
As my brother quite rightly said, why would you keep taking headache tablets if your headache has gone? Just because there was no one there to keep him on the straight and narrow, he stopped meds and ended up being taken in under section 2 of the mental health act. This was back in early June.
As you will know from a previous blog post I have learnt a lot in the past few months, but now the system fails again. The red tape, the time taken in chasing people to provide the necessary reports is all consuming. If patients don’t have family members who can’t ‘kick some butt’ and keep on and on to move things along, then heaven knows how long they stay somewhere they no longer need to be. No wonder the NHS doesn’t have any money.
My lovely childlike brother was moved to a rehab ward which was meant to be a stop-gap while the council tried to find him more suitable housing. I’ve been told that we have plenty of time to sort things out and I must let them do their job. If I let them do their job he could be in there a year. Or more. Totally unnecessary. Fight fight push push. All he wants is for someone to give him a date to work towards. Staff telling him that ‘things are happening behind the scenes and these things take time’ is NOT helpful to someone who is autistic.
My chance to rant!
Yes, I am having a rant. This has been an eye opening experience and I have great respect for anyone working in the field of mental health. The whole team have a considerable amount to deal with on a day to day basis, but there is always a breakdown in the chain somewhere that means things stop. Just like buying a house. Push push. Email. Nag.
At the moment we are waiting for a funding package so he can move on. There is a property ready for him. He still has his old flat that could be given to someone else. Many of the staff are part time, emails don’t get answered quickly, and meetings get cancelled. No wonder Mental Heath is in crisis! What does it take to get a social worker to do a report? Four weeks I’ve been asking for it. Four weeks meaning my brother waits. Like groundhog day. On a ward. Taking up a place someone more in need could have.
I’ve never known frustration like it
I wouldn’t say I am exhausted. I’m more frustrated than anything, but I won’t give up. We have been trying for ten years to get him some help and we are that close. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, but I will give them another week before I use my trump card. After all, we are all human, and they all have jobs to do, but like someone said to me yesterday, people only complain if there is something to complain about!
I’m using all my manifesting skills and powers of positive thoughts to focus on the future and moving him some where safe where he will be happy with the support he needs. In the meantime, I am still using that skill called patience and trying to keep him on an even footing, but it’s still three steps forward and two steps back – but it could be worse – we could just be treading water or going backwards!
As always, a huge thank you to any clients who have been kind enough to shuffle appointments enabling me to attend meetings. I am massively grateful to you all.