We have heard from people accessing mental health services and their family and loved ones, that changing medications prescribed for mental health can be a challenging time. Changing medication could involve trying a different dose, stopping a medication or starting on a new medication - or a combination of all these factors.
We want to understand more about this experience and how mental health services can better support people and carers during this transition.
One way we are thinking about doing this is to provide people with information that guides them through a change of medication, what they should expect and where they can get more support. We invite you to tell us what you think should be included in this resource to make it useful.
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences of medication with us and gave suggestions of what information would be useful for people going through this process.
We heard that:
- Changing medications for mental health can be a confusing and frustrating time for many
- Many people did not feel that they were given enough information about what to expect during a medication change or where to get advice
- It was difficult for people to get advice or information out-of-hours or urgently
- It can be tricky to remember the plan for increasing or reducing medications, particularly when taking more than one or making multiple changes
- People who felt supported and informed during this time often had a health practitioner who let them know what to expect and provided details of the plan
- Those with experience suggested that it is helpful to pre-book future appointments with the health provider (GP, Psychiatrist) or someone else from the treating team so that there is a time planned to ask questions or raise concerns
- Those who had a positive experience said that having a written plan about the schedule for changing medications from their health provider helped them remember what to do
- Others suggested to plan plenty of time for self-care and know who your support people are so you can look after yourself and feel supported while going through a medication change.
Amazing insights - thank you to all those that contributed!
Using the feedback and experiences that were shared with us, we are creating an information resource to capture the suggestions of people with lived experience and health professionals. We hope that this will give people planning a medication change some guidance and sources of reliable information and support.
We will post a draft of the new resource on this page when it is complete and invite feedback. If you would like to contribute to the review, please 'follow' this page by clicking the button above and you will be notified when we are seeking feedback.
You can also contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org