"Referral to mental health sevices in SGH"

About: Sligo General Hospital / Emergency department Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services

(as a service user),

I was referred to mental health services in SGH by my GP mid February '23. I was admitted after a 13hr wait in a&e, which is perfectly understandable. It took until a week later in Feb before I saw any member of psych team, I've been told that a psych representative came to see me while I was asleep on a trolley in a&e, but made no effort to wake me, I persistently reached out to social workers, nurses to be seen by psych, by Saturday still not having seen a member of psych team I was told I was being discharged, I'm fighting for my life, trying my best to deal with my demons and I literally had to have a sit in protest refusing to leave the ward.

When I saw a psych nurse eventually on Monday they refused to refer me to community mental health on the grounds I have addiction issues, addiction is primarily a mental health problem. So essentially I got absolutely no help from the psych team, other than a referral I had already organised through my GP. 6 days sleeping in a corridor with no results as regard my mental health problems,  I was never even asked my symptoms, just labeled an addict, period. Also over the weekend while they tried to discharge me  I was asked by doctor on duty to explain my mental health while sitting on a bed in a very busy corridor. The physical help I received was second to none from A&E and the medical wards, the nurses treated me with complete compassion and many I spoke to about my frustration were in total agreement that I was treated disgracefully  and that mental health in HSE is nothing short of a joke in my experience. I have had long period 7+months sobriety previously,  and my mental health was still off the radar, it is no wonder that the level of male suicide in this country is at a peak. I feel very let down by the psych services, and I feel a complete review of how the system works is in dire need


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Response from Dr Liz Gethins, Consultant Psychiatrist , Crisis Resolution Team, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service 15 months ago
Dr Liz Gethins
Consultant Psychiatrist , Crisis Resolution Team,
Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service

Consultant Psychiatrist, Crisis Resolution Service

Submitted on 14/04/2023 at 16:13
Published on Care Opinion at 16:13

Dear augustxr85,

Thank you very much for your feedback on Care Opinion. Of course, every person and situation is different, but I might try to give you some general advice in response to the issues raised if that would be helpful.

When a GP sends someone into the Emergency Department for a mental health issue they may be seen by the Liaison Mental Health Team or the Psychiatry doctor on call (if it is after 8 pm). The ED is not an appropriate place through which to access the community mental health team, and your GP would make a referral for a mental health issue that way. Just to explain, we do not deal with issues that have been ongoing for some time – these are best dealt with through the GP, and if the GP thinks that someone needs community mental health intervention, they will refer to the community mental health team. The Liaison Mental Health Team deals with acute mental health issues in both the ED and in-patient wards at Sligo University Hospital.

Similarly if someone presents with addiction issues, the referral is usually done through the GP although the Liaison service will facilitate this at times, depending on service demand and staffing.

When attending the wards to review someone, we will usually try to wake them if they are asleep, assuming on discussion with ward staff they are fit / able to be seen. I hope that your discharge has gone well and would advise that you make an appointment with your GP to discuss your ongoing health needs and how / where they would be best met.

Wishing you all the best,

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