Mad Covid Voices, with Ashley

18th April 2020

How has your care changed since COVID19?

Well I used to have therapy twice a week, I’d had an individual session and a group session, and since I’ve went down to basically only having a phone session, and that’s every two weeks. The groups haven’t been running at all. Also all of my psychiatry appointments have been cancelled. 

How have those changes affected your mental health? 

I think this made me a lot more anxious because I’m that aware that if I become more unwell there’s not really any kind of safety net. It’s kind of frustrated me a bit because I’m very aware that mental health care isn’t seen as an essential service so that’s why they’re cutting them, and then that’s having an impact on my mental health because I feel sort of guilty… I don’t know if that’s the word, it does make me feel quite bad. 

Have you been told how to get help in a crisis since COVID19?

No, I haven’t. I asked my therapist about it and even she was like, “Yeah, I’m not sure what’s happening” The only mention of crisis that I’ve had is my therapist sent out a copy of my crisis plan, and said in the letter “it might be helpful to review this”…….. [laughs] Okay, helpful! [sarcastically] I was like great, ta, fab! 

How is the experience of self isolating/social distancing in the community? (how are you finding living alone/with others, are you able to access support, food, meds, things to do etc)

Yeah I’m finding it quite difficult because I live alone so there’s not really anyone around to talk to, so i’m feeling quite lonely. I’m also finding it really difficult because my pharmacy and my GP surgery are ages away, I think they’re like 5 miles away, so I have to depend on other people to pick up my meds and drop them off.

I think on one hand it’s sort of nice living alone because a lot of my friends have been saying that the people they’re living with are starting to really annoy them, and i think that if someone that you’re staying with is having a hard time then it just affects everyone. I only have to worry about myself, but there’s been, I think 2-3 weeks where i’ve just not had a face to face interaction which is quite draining. 

Have decisions been made about your care (discharge, referral etc) that you believe wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for COVID19? 

Not really, no. The only thing is that I was supposed to have a psychiatry appointment last week to talk about changing my medication, but because that’s cancelled i’ve not been able to talk about it. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

No. 

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