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Episode 3 - Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency

Our mental health has changed. This once taboo subject is now in the spotlight, with everyone from the Royal Princes, to school children, being prepared to talk about it. But with a rise in awareness has come a surge in people asking for help or harming themselves. Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has opened its doors to cameras to show what it means to be in crisis.

This series takes us to the heart of front line services as staff struggle to tackle an unprecedented rise in demand. 

Josh is 15. He was brought into A&E after trying to kill himself. Now the crisis team has to assess whether it’s safe to send him home or whether he needs to be admitted to a psychiatric ward. It’s not the first time Josh has been in touch with CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service) - two months ago he was put on a waiting list when he experienced suicidal thoughts.

“If he’d have got that service the first time round that he presented then we wouldn’t be in the position where he’s took a massive overdose. We’re talking life and death here, you know, because services weren’t able to see him in the time that he needed to be seen. Unfortunately, there are a huge amount of Joshes out there that are waiting for a service,” says Steph Langley, CAMHS nurse.

It’s one of the many complex dilemmas that frontline mental health staff face every day. In the last few years, referrals to mental health services have increased dramatically, leaving staff stretched and often forced to choose the least-worst option for their patients.

Christopher, 40, has been with the community mental health team for the last 11 years. He has schizophrenia, depression, acute anxiety and psychogenic seizures. He was recently told he no longer qualifies for support from mental health services. Shortly afterwards he stabbed himself in the stomach with a kitchen knife. Due to the self-injury a decision was made not to discharge him for another six months.

Zoe, 30, was diagnosed with a personality disorder 11 years ago a condition which was caused by childhood trauma. She has tried to kill herself 15 times in the last 3 years. She’s been in an out of the mental health system and currently relies on daily visits from the crisis team.

Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more.



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