Toolkit for seeing your Healthcare Professional
What is the ‘I need help download?’
Our ‘I need help’’ download is a resource to help you have a conversation about the way you are feeling – mentally, physically, and emotionally – with your GP, health visitor, midwife, social worker or another healthcare professional providing you with support. Sharing how you feel should help your healthcare worker to support you accordingly. It doesn’t matter whether your struggles relate to recent circumstances or events from a long time ago. We know this isn’t easy. So well done for getting this far.
Accessing the download
This resource is written in English. Please email us for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have any communication needs which mean you can’t access this download. This might be the case if you are neurodivergent, speak another language or you are deaf and/or blind.
We are going to produce more versions of this download including one for fathers and partners. Sign up for our newsletter here if you want to know when this goes live.
How do I use the download?
This download can be used as a template which you customise. Or you can print it as it is and delete the words appropriately. There is a page at the end for your own free text or written words. Please use this to add more details if you feel comfortable to do so.
Please go gently as you move through this document. It is going to ask you to share information about your experiences which might feel upsetting. Share as much as feels comfortable and relevant for you. Please speak to a loved one or use our free services here at The PANDAS Foundation and/or Make Birth Better if you need support.
If you feel it would help you to express how you are feeling emotionally, you could track your mood for a few days before your appointment daily and give it a score out of 10 where:
0 = I’m feeling hopeless / this is the worst I’ve ever felt
10 = I’m very happy / the best mood ever
You can then include them in the free text section at the end of the download.
Ideas on how to improve this resource?
This resource has been co-produced by PANDAS and Make Birth Better with clinical support from Dr Punam Krishan and Dr Rebecca Moore. If there is something this download does not cover for you, please do get in touch and share your suggestions. Please address your email to Sally firstname.lastname@example.org and Lauren at email@example.com.
What happens if I don’t get the support I need?
The support you receive should feel safe, non-judgemental and confidential. If you don’t feel your experience with a healthcare worker was handled in this way, please remember that there are next steps you can take.
If you have spoken to a healthcare worker and felt dismissed or disappointed with their support, please remember that you can:
- Ask to see if different person e.g. ask to see a different GP at the same practice
- Seek help from another provider e.g. a health visitor or midwife
- Ask your local friends about their experiences – is there someone they talked to who offered good support?
- Take a friend or family member with you to help support and advocate for you.
- If English is not your first language, let your healthcare provider know that you need a translator
- Reach out to a charity for support on how best to have your difficulties heard. You can find details of our free services over at The PANDAS Foundation or Make Birth Better
Download the ‘I need help’ resource
Dr Punam Krishan