“What do you mean you won’t see him?”
“I’m sorry, there’s just not enough evidence of moderate to severe mental health problems”.
“He’s physically hurting himself with distress and frustration, how is that not enough evidence?”
The lady on the duty desk at CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) sounds a little embarrassed at this point. “I… I wasn’t in the meeting, I can’t say what was discussed but they have decided to decline the referral… I’m sorry”.
“So, what am I meant to do now?” I genuinely start to cry at this point, obvious to her over the phone.
“There are some parenting workshops we can refer you to, to help you manage his behaviour in the home”.
“But he needs help, he needs support”.
“I’m really sorry, a decline letter is on the way to you with information about other places you can go to for a little more support, if his issues continue to worsen you can get referred back to us”.
“This is his third referral, things have been worsening for over a year!”
“Would you like the information for the parenting workshops now?”
“No, I’ll… I’ll just wait for the letter”.
“I’m sorry, why don’t you try going back to the GP?”
“Yeah, I guess I’ll have to… Thanks for calling and letting me know”