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Author Topic: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling  (Read 4090 times)

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Offline marriedmansam

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A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« on: September 25, 2011, 03:09:43 AM »
Hi everyone I am after yet more advice...

I live in Yorkshire in the UK.

I was diagnosed within the last 4 weeks and i sort of think i am making progress. But i am concerned about my mental health. I don't think i am going to have a break down or anything quite like that. But i do have quite a lot going on in my head. I still have bouts of not sleeping and intense worries about the future - some real and some may be imagined.

I have contacted a support organisation and they have been excellent at allowing me to talk some issues through. All of the people i have spoken to are clear that they are happy to help but they are not counsellors and advise that i should try to access some counselling.

When i met the consultant (HIV Doctor at the GUM clinic) he stated that he was not aware of any HIV counselling services or for that matter a dedicated dietitian.

Does anyone in the UK know where i could get access to a dedicated HIV counsellor?


Many thanks in anticipation.
June/July 2011- Infected
30 Aug 2011    - First test
31 Aug 2011     - Call to tell me first test was poz

3 Sept 2011       - Joined this forum
5 Sept 2011       - clinic appointment for retest
16 Sept 2011     VL 75 400 CD4 428 and 28%
next appointment  3 Jan 2012
3 Jan 2012          - VL 71 300 CD4 460 and 23%

Offline newt

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Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2011, 05:57:42 AM »
Yes

THT, online counselling at myhiv.org.uk and in person in some areas, or if not directly provided by THT they can refer you to someone who knows the issues. HIV is not that different to other health conditions in terms of coming to terms with a diagnosis so many counsellors should be able to assist.  Some voluntary agencies in Yorkshire are commissioned to offer counselling, likewise some statutotory bodies, depends where you are.

Lots of clinics have specialist HIV dieticians but perhaps not yours its seems. Is there a reason why you need one?

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Ann

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Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 11:01:55 AM »
Sam, Sahir House in Liverpool has a counsellor (Donna, she's really good), but with you being so far outside their catchment area, I don't know if they'd be able to have you as a member. There's the travel obstacle for you as well.

However, you could try ringing them - she may agree to speak with you over the phone, and she may be able to recommend someone in your area. When you ring, ask for Donna and tell her Debi (my first name, Ann is my middle) from the Isle of Man sent you. :)

BTW, I've moved your thread into the Mental Health forum, as that is the more appropriate place for your thread and it makes it easier to find for others in the same or similar situation.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline marriedmansam

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Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2011, 11:17:24 AM »
Thanks both for the info... sorry for submitting a topic in the wrong place!


Lots of clinics have specialist HIV dieticians but perhaps not yours its seems. Is there a reason why you need one?

The reason i would like to discuss diet issues is not because i have any major concerns but i am vegetarian and have a family history of high blood pressure and heart problems along with diabetes ( i do come from a very large family !)

sam
June/July 2011- Infected
30 Aug 2011    - First test
31 Aug 2011     - Call to tell me first test was poz

3 Sept 2011       - Joined this forum
5 Sept 2011       - clinic appointment for retest
16 Sept 2011     VL 75 400 CD4 428 and 28%
next appointment  3 Jan 2012
3 Jan 2012          - VL 71 300 CD4 460 and 23%

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 11:35:13 AM »
Sam, as a vegetarian it's even more important now that you make sure you're getting enough protein. I was vegetarian when I was first diagnosed, and for a few years after. As time went on, I was experiencing an increase in fatigue that only resolved when I started eating a bit of meat again. Even now, I only eat meat once or twice a week.

I admit I was a lazy vegetarian and not paying enough attention to my diet, particularly where protein intake was concerned. I mainly just did not eat meat.

Any nutritionist or dietitian would be better than nothing. A nutritionist who works in a hospital setting would be used to suggesting diets for anyone with health issues. For example, cancer patients on chemo also have immune system issues so one who works with cancer patients would have a good idea of what your needs are. Again, any nutritionist (an accredited one) would be better than nothing.

Let me know if you have any luck with Donna at Sahir House.

PS - you don't have to apologise for posting in the "wrong" place. It's no trouble to move a misplaced thread. ;)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline GusInJune

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Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 01:40:05 PM »
I've been a vegetarian for about 7 years, and a few years of that I was vegan. It's pretty much second nature to get enough protein. I would say my diet is as high protein as any weightlifter. If you need any tips and tricks or recipes, I'm your man. An experienced vegetarian might be whom you need to to talk to, I could see a professional who has never lived the lifestyle of staying vegetarian for every meal giving poor advice, at least where protein intake is concerned. I don't suggest a diet high in GMO soy, bad bad bad for you, and I have seen "nutritionists" tell people to just replace meat with frozen meat substitutes. well part of that is reading the labels.

Vegan/Vegetarian diets have proven to be good for PLWHA, diabetics, and some of the other things you listed. Having a high protein intake is very feasible if you're a vegetarian. Once you'e groove of it its not difficult at all, like I said, it becomes second nature. Since your health is a concern, a metabolic panel might reveal any holes in your diet that you may want to fill. There may (or may not) be a few supplements you could use as well.
10/19/09 - Diagnosed +
6/28/11-Hospitalized 16 days Neurosyphillis, thrush CD4-70 8% VL >500k + Certfraxione, Bactrim DS
8/23/11 - Started Atripla
9/14/11 - CD4 340 18% VL 2980
9/27/11 - Eye surgery

Offline Theyer

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  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 02:51:43 AM »
Hi,
The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital HIV unit, The Kolber Centre work very closely with the counselours from the Mental Health Dept .The consultant Dr Pepe Catalan has been concerned with HIV since the year dot. Ditto dietitian /nutrition team. Remember you can receive your treatment anywhere in the UK.

best wishes
t
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline sam66

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  • Posts: 277
  • Keep The Faith ; Fight The Fight
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 11:19:29 AM »

 Hi sam

        Living Well is a series of workshops run in partnership with NHS by mainly +ve people , I found it to be extremely usefull.

  I thought everyone diagnosed in UK were automatically referred to this service by the clinic, give them a try,
 they are very very good.

     http://www.livingwellcic.com/what-we-do/hiv-services/

    all the best

    sam
december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,

Offline marriedmansam

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 04:41:46 PM »
Hey everyone,

Many thanks again for your help and advice. Living where i do, in East Yorkshire, there seems to be very little available. This probably reflects the lower incidence of HIV in the area.

All routes seem to lead to West Yorkshire Mesmac.

(Anne i did speak to someone at Sahir house , but not Donna, and they recommended Mesmac as did the THT)

I have my first counselling session booked for Tuesday 4th October.

June/July 2011- Infected
30 Aug 2011    - First test
31 Aug 2011     - Call to tell me first test was poz

3 Sept 2011       - Joined this forum
5 Sept 2011       - clinic appointment for retest
16 Sept 2011     VL 75 400 CD4 428 and 28%
next appointment  3 Jan 2012
3 Jan 2012          - VL 71 300 CD4 460 and 23%

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 08:52:31 AM »
Sam, it's good to hear you have a counselling appointment booked. I hope the counsellor they put you with is a good fit. If he or she isn't, don't be afraid to ask for a different one. Good luck!
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Theyer

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  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 06:21:49 AM »
Hello Sam
Good to hear from you ----want to underline what dear Ann said---- if you feel the counsellor is not a good match for you discuss with them. Hope things are going well for you take care
mhtv
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 07:07:50 AM »
Thanks for bringing this topic back up, Theyer.

Sam, how did your first counselling session go? Nosey people must know. ;D

Going on what you've said about East Yorkshire, I would imagine it's a bit like having hiv while living on the Isle of Man. We're here (poz folks) but the services aren't. Fair enough, we might not be here in the numbers they have in London or Liverpool, but that doesn't mean we don't need services and support. I don't know about East Yorkshire, but here, the politicians don't want to think we exist. Only one of our MHKs has any interest in hiv, but he's a lone voice in the wilderness and is widely regarded as a crank. ~sigh~

In fact, we recently had an election for the MHKs. One of the men who ran for my constituency is a dentist who refuses to treat hiv poz patients - or if he does, he insists we have the last appointment of the day and he sends his assistant home because he doesn't "think it's fair" to "expose her to the risk". What a load of bollocks.

I keep telling him that he has no idea who just doesn't disclose their status (whether it is hiv, hep C, hep B or whatever) and he also has no idea who just doesn't know they have hiv or one of the hepatitis viruses. We've had many an argument in the pub over this. If he's not using universal precautions with everyone, then he should be struck off. Makes my positive blood boil. You know what's even worse? He had the best platform out of the four candidates in my constituency. Mind-boggling. We returned the sitting candidate, but still. I expect the dentist to get in next time (in five years) as the vote was very, very close. Only 30-odd votes between them.


PS - MHK (Member of the House of Keys) = MP.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 07:17:33 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline marriedmansam

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  • Posts: 45
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 09:25:33 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Yes I had my first session. I was not sure what to expect. My counsellor seems like a really nice guy. I sat and talked (possibly a load of bollocks) for well over an hour.We discussed many of my feelings and worries. I was not sure that I really felt any better when I eventually left. I am going back for three more... so i will have to see how it goes.

I didn't expect a magic wand type of effect to make me feel better but i did expect someting! I will have to see how it develops over time. One positive thing that came from it is that he has put me in contact with a support group in Leeds. I am going on the 18th Oct. I think it will help me to get to know about the experiences and worries of other HIV people!. It will be a little like this forum ... but i will be meeting them face-to-face.

I will let you know how it goes!

I totally understand what Ann means about being a little isolated and the impact of living somewhere out in the sticks. It does seem that all of the services are concentrated in London and Manchester etc. But i guess thats because thats where the greates need is. But I still have needs! Time will tell I guess.

Where dentists are concerned I don't think that dentists like the one mentioned only exist in the Isle of Man. I am not disclosing my status to my dentist.

June/July 2011- Infected
30 Aug 2011    - First test
31 Aug 2011     - Call to tell me first test was poz

3 Sept 2011       - Joined this forum
5 Sept 2011       - clinic appointment for retest
16 Sept 2011     VL 75 400 CD4 428 and 28%
next appointment  3 Jan 2012
3 Jan 2012          - VL 71 300 CD4 460 and 23%

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: A UK issue? Mental Health and counselling
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 07:17:47 AM »

Where dentists are concerned I don't think that dentists like the one mentioned only exist in the Isle of Man. I am not disclosing my status to my dentist.


Sam, sure, there are plenty of dentist out there who insist that we have the last appointment of the day. They claim they have to be extra careful when sterilising the equipment afterwards.

And that's a load of bollocks. They should be using the same care and attention to sterilisation regardless of who they are treating. Many people simply do not know they have hiv, or a chronic case of hep B or C. Others refuse to tell their dentist.

And this is dangerous. I always disclose my status to dentists because if they want to use that stupid idea about extra sterilisation, that makes me nervous that they are not always using a high standard of universal precautions, which includes the sterilisation process.

Hep B and Hep C are much more likely to be transmitted in such a setting, as hiv is not able to remain viable enough to be transmitted outside the body (such as from a dental instrument). Hep B and C are very robust viruses and can remain infectious on environmental surfaces for long enough to infect.

If a dentist insists I have the last appointment of the day, I refuse to use his or her services and I tell them why in NO uncertain terms. Also, it is illegal in the UK for a dentist to employ such practices and I point that out to them too. I've already had hep C once - and successfully treated it - and I do NOT want to go there again.

It is also VERY important to let you dentist know that you are poz because he or she can be on the lookout for some of the dental/oral problems to which we are more prone.

If you have problems finding a poz-friendly dentist, ask your hiv specialist or THT for a referral. It really is important that your dentist knows your status and it is also important to find out if they employ good universal precautions. This your health we're talking about!
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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