Days From Hell Approaching

Tomorrow: 11am Commissioner coming to gather evidence and talk to me to assess if they will keep funding my placement 2.30pm Meeting with CCs, placement psychologist, placement manager, senior keyworker and ODM of the company to review/assess/gather evidence ahead of funding panel Tuesday: 9.30am Funding panel that decides my future 11am Therapy, last before psychologist… Continue reading Days From Hell Approaching

“Please, tell me more about my own Goddamn experiences”

Well this really struck a chord; unfortunately I think it will with anyone suffering from mental illnesses, and especially those with the more stigmatized ones such as personality disorders. I genuinely couldn’t even begin to count the amount of times that mental health professionals, with confidence and certainty, tell me rather than ask me (AKA… Continue reading “Please, tell me more about my own Goddamn experiences”

The Power of Pride and Humour

Today has been a strange old day in my world. Mainly nothing ‘serious’…messing around with the staff at my placement, meeting with my care coordinators, talking to the mental health professionals here about things I’ve been working on, preparing to interview new staff with the senior recovery workers, watching Children in Need… However, a thread… Continue reading The Power of Pride and Humour

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

Living in Limbo

It’s a funny time at the moment: I’m waiting to move in to a new placement which is described as: “a 24-hour CQC-registered accommodation service for adults who experience severe mental distress. Residents have multiple and complex needs and are entering the service from high-level support and secure settings or as an alternative to hospital… Continue reading Living in Limbo

An Example of Crisis Team Excellence

TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF SUICIDAL IDEATION This week has been horrific. So many horrors, for so many reasons. An all-c0nsuming urge to end my life, fed into from different triggers and factors.  But this week I have been so impressed by the response of my local crisis team to me. On Thursday, for the first time ever,… Continue reading An Example of Crisis Team Excellence

A Few Questions: Being LGBTQ+ Under the Mental Health System

A member of my crisis team is doing some work on LGBTQ+ & metal health. I offered to help & we thought it would be good to hear experiences. The main thing he wants to know is, as someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, what would you want members of staff within mental health teams to… Continue reading A Few Questions: Being LGBTQ+ Under the Mental Health System

The Importance of Good Therapeutic Relationships and the Terror of Personality Disorders

Therapeutic relationships: what a bloody complicated subject. These relationships are unlike any other – there is a natural power-imbalance and a one-way exchange of information/knowledge about the people involved. This means that those on the professional end of therapeutic relationships, especially with vulnerable patients, are left with the immensely difficult task of working out how… Continue reading The Importance of Good Therapeutic Relationships and the Terror of Personality Disorders

‘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

The Nonsensical Mental Health System: Boxes, Time Limits, Generalisations and Stigma

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From One Extreme to the Other in Mental Health Care

Yesterday. I honestly don’t know where to start with yesterday. Having had a peculiar and confusing appointment with the crisis team made at the last minute the day before, my mind was whirring and my anxieties were peaked to the extent that I didn’t get an iota of sleep. I was a mess all morning,… Continue reading From One Extreme to the Other in Mental Health Care

A Thank You To My Care Coordinator 

I just wanted to share a thank you card that I made and wrote for my care coordinator – highlighting the true value of dedicated and empathetic mental health workers such as her. Lives are not only changed, but saved by people like her every day.  I made this card for you and saw nothing… Continue reading A Thank You To My Care Coordinator