What it is like to not be involved in risk management, care planning or significant decisions in mental health care

Recently, the manager of my local crisis team was invited to talk to post graduate nurses working in mental health and A&E about service user involvement in care planning/risk assessments and suicide prevention. She asked if she could use my case as an example both of how badly things can go wrong in this area… Continue reading What it is like to not be involved in risk management, care planning or significant decisions in mental health care

A Poignant Piece on the No-Win “Good”-“Bad” Psychiatric Patient Spectrum

This is a really poignant piece.  Just one short quote out of the many I considered sharing with you: “I struggle to be seen as a patient, whereas other mentally ill folks struggle to be seen as human.” Please take the time to read this whether you come into contact with the mental health system at… Continue reading A Poignant Piece on the No-Win “Good”-“Bad” Psychiatric Patient Spectrum

‘The Crisis Team Cure: A Parody of Advice Commonly Given to Vulnerable & Distressed People in Mental Health Crisis’

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Oh how I wish I could say this was a complete fantasy or massive exaggeration, however it is scarily close to the truth. In fact, in the past week alone, every single one of these things (and more) have been suggested or said to me (minus pouring the tea directly over my head whilst in the bath…but I’ve felt like doing so out of sheer desperation and frustration) and I have had constant responses such as this in the past. And it isn’t just me; what prompted me to draw this were several posts in the Mind Our Minds and Doodle Chronicles Peer Support Groups.

Time and again, highly vulnerable and distressed people are dismissed with condescending suggestions of having a bath/cup of tea/walk (even when certain of these things at certain times actually pose an additional risk) and/or are criticised and blamed for being acutely unwell, rather than being offered even a short amount of therapeutic interaction or appropriate assessment/intervention.

I do want to finish by saying that by no means am I suggesting that all crisis team staff act in this way (I have had 2 simply outstanding phone conversations with crisis team nurses over the past week, as well, which I hope to write about when I am able – this past post demonstrates the confusing and opposing approach of crisis team staff) and I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who do this demanding, undervalued and underpaid job with kindness and professionalism – you are true superheroes.

Attempted Suicide after 4 Days in Intensive Care

****MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS ALL OVER THIS POST**** Today marked my 4th day in intensive care following an attempt to take my life. It also marked the day of me being ‘medically cleared’ (aka not imminently about to die) and so finally at that very mysterious point of ‘fit for psych’…in my case, this meant that… Continue reading Attempted Suicide after 4 Days in Intensive Care

Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom

​Tonight’s crisis team wisdom: “If you went for a walk, you’d come back a different person – you could volunteer in school next week!” I’ve been housebound for 2 months. I haven’t gone out unaccompanied for 18 months. My risk level was raised to the very highest level with the Community Mental Health Team today… Continue reading Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom

Shut Up or Complain: A Terrifyingly Flawed Mental Health System

Time and again I come across the same rhetoric in mental health care: if you have any queries, concerns, ideas or wishes other than what is presented to you exactly as is, you are told to complain. Notions of personalised, patient-centred care – though frequently promoted – are often nowhere to be seen in reality,… Continue reading Shut Up or Complain: A Terrifyingly Flawed Mental Health System

A Broken Mental Health System Breaking Patients and Staff Alike

​This article is such a devastating read.  ‘As I exit the hospital gates, the nurse mask slips from my face. Tears stream down my cheeks and for the first time in my 10 years of nursing I think: “I don’t think I can do this any more”.’ I always worry about the strains on the amazing… Continue reading A Broken Mental Health System Breaking Patients and Staff Alike