Graded Exposure to the World

A year ago to the month, the Crisis Team Manager took me to a nature reserve to take some photos as a therapeutic intervention (I didn’t actually manage to take photos that day, but we still went out and spent time in nature). Today, she did the same things as part of a programme of ‘graded exposure’… Continue reading Graded Exposure to the World

Cautious, Guilt-Ridden Gratitude (and the O word that shall not be named)

Oh the complexities of very poorly brains. Guess what? I have news – good things – that should make me want to dance or at least crack a little smile, but instead I am riddled with guilt…wishing that I could sacrifice myself and give others – the dozens of others that I know personally, the… Continue reading Cautious, Guilt-Ridden Gratitude (and the O word that shall not be named)

THE Assessment

*Trigger Warning: Explicit discussion of suicide attempts, self harm and suicidal ideation*   For 6 months now, my care has been focussed around and towards a long-term placement in a pilot therapeutic-community-come-recovery-house-come-something-all-of-its-own. The placement would be tailored towards high risk patients with long term complex needs (e.g. me), providing 24 hour CQC approved specialist support… Continue reading THE Assessment

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

The Crisis Team Cure.jpg

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.

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 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