Out and About
28 November 2018
Earlier this year I had a severe mental health crisis and while in hospital due to self harm for which I needed a blood transfusion and surgery I was given the name of a local mental health charity by the mental health team in the hospital. I didn't contact them for a while as I just wasn't in the right place but once I built up the courage I felt I had made a huge step forward. I emailed them and made an appointment. They rang me back to talk to me the same day and I was so pleased because I had got nowhere with help from the NHS mental health services. Anyway, while I was talking to them they mentioned their building and it turned out that it was up TWO FLIGHTS OF STAIRS!!! I'm a wheelchair user!!! I just couldn't believe it. When I told my GP he was shocked because as they are a very new charity he thought they had to be accessible. So anyway 2 days later they rang me back and told me not to worry because they were sorting out an accessible room for me and would be in touch within the week.
5 weeks later when I had heard nothing I wrote to them to tell them I had been discriminated against because the ONLY reason I hadn't seeing anyone from their charity was that I was in a wheelchair. A month later I got an apology and they held their hands up and said they had got it completely wrong. They now definitely 100% have access to an accessible room in a different building.
I feel quite proud that it was because of me complaining. Unfortunately, the help that came through for me was too little, too late. I needed them when I was in severe crisis. I am still far from right with my mental health but I'm not in crisis and just plodding on alone. I hope my story does empower others to complain and complain loudly because it does make a difference. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
They now have an accessible room in a different building. The only thing is, they have drop in appointments that disabled people can't access because the accessible room they use has to be booked in advance. So I guess it's not 100% right, but better than it was.
If you've been discriminated against, read how you can positively assert your rights in our Take Action section
Have any feedback regarding a comment? Get in touch