At 9am we had a multi-professionals meeting for son 1 who has a mental health problem. I find these meetings both very frustrating and sometimes upsetting, simply because the various professionals seem unable to work as a team in terms of setting common goals and sharing information.
Today was a perfect example, where one professional who should have been there had not even been invited. But the lady I had been asked to invite at short notice turned up, on time, and was very nice. The meeting was actually more satisfactory than some and I managed to hold it together for the whole session without getting upset or angry.
One thing that health, education and social services workers never seem to understand is that they often cause parents and carers far more aggravation than the actual caring role itself does. Everything is governed by budget constraints and service availability, by the need to meet government targets and show the best possible result in league tables, rather than by what is best for the individual. To get what you need you not only have to know the system well but to obtain advice and support from others who can be independent and are less emotionally involved than you are. I took an advocate along with me today and I think it was really beneficial. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to face this sort of meeting if you are new to the system or don't have English as a first language.
After that meeting the large weekly shop in Tesco seemed almost relaxing this afternoon!