“You’ve been in mental health services a really long time, haven’t you?”
Have you ever sat down in a health appointment and within minutes, your heart just sinks? You immediately know it’ll be a struggle to get your needs met. We have started calling these people ‘heartsink professionals’. They might not even say anything particularly awful straight away, but small tell-tale signs betray their whole attitude to patients.
The last one I saw started the conversation with, “You’ve been in mental health services a really long time, haven’t you?”. 1) Have I? 2) Does it matter? 3) Do they send professionals to lessons specifically on how to make hopeless people feel more hopeless?
Hi, I’m a Heartsink Professional! Here are some things you might notice about me…
- I make statements of opinion posed as questions
- I say ‘I’ve been a [insert profession here] X years’ in response to perceived criticism
- I’m constantly late or don’t say what I agreed I would doI treat you like a naughty child
- I say “everyone gets anxious/depressed/has pain”I tell people they need to “think themselves better”
- I don’t follow politics or believe in socio-political causes of distress
- I rewrite your narrative before you’ve even spoken to me
- I blame you for being mad / fat / disabled
- I repeatedly insist on how well you’re doing, even if you’re telling me otherwise
- I say, “I can’t comment” after a patient speaks about devastating secondary medical trauma