Life on a psychiatric ward

So I recently spent three weeks on a mental health unit for some rest bite , there isn’t a huge amount  I can comment on for the confidentiality of the other patients. But I thought it would be good to write about as I think there is such a stigma attached to these places, and I can give a positive spin on it . My three week stay helped me hugely , I met some real characters and had some very interesting conversations to say the least! The food wasn’t too bad but I did enjoy my friends visiting and taking me off to KFC or costa !

It’s amazing how you can become so close with other patients , I made a really good friend both in for completely different reasons but we just got on so well. The first night I got there I was quite nervous I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t even want to go into the unit but my friends persuaded me too. I’m glad they did as after the three weeks I felt a lot better. When I arrived I felt very welcome by the staff and one member of staff sorted my whole bedroom out for me . She was so lovely. 

When I was in there I saw some very ill people get a lot better and it really showed me that people can bounce back from a very bad state of mind. There were a few occasions where people would kick off and the clash of people in such a small space was a bit intense at times but I never felt unsafe. Certain staff were so lovely and really helped me just by chatting . One afternoon a nurse took me to get my hair done across the road.

It was sad at times seeing other patients struggling but then it showed a lot of hope when people did get better. My favourite part of being in hospital was the karaoke group that was run by a member of staff , we were all up singing and dancing to red red wine by UB40 it was so funny. It’s made me want to join a choir now! There was also an art room which was used regularly by the patients , I did about four bits of art. 

When I was in hospital I had a lot of visits from friends and family which I looked forward to each day. One saturday I went to costa three times with different visitors, I was getting so many points on my costa cards being in hospital ! It was sad to see though that some patients didn’t get any visitors. 

One of the members of staff was a peer support worker so she had been a patient there two years previous and was now better and working there . This is what I now want to do. I did my peer support working in the community for a year but unfortunetly left because of the chronic pain I suffer. But my aim now is to work on a psychiatric ward as a peer support worker. My nerve pain is very bad still everyday but this is my goal for if things get better in the future. 

I would say being on the unit was a positive experience I met some very interesting people from all walks of life. 

Anyone can get mentally ill at anytime it’s just like physical health , but the mind is an amazing thing and I saw some patients get a lot better so it just shows to never loose hope.

Thanks for reading Rach x 

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