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Digging Yourself Out of a Hole: Gardening for Heart and SoulDocument Transcript
issue 09 Inner space for women’sSummer/autumn 2010 mental health & wellbeing (across Surrey and the south east) Digging yourself out of a hole gardening for heart and soul No clean knickers – let alone a toothbrush the indignity of being sectioned Painting yourself into the picture art therapy creates self knowledge
No clean knickers –let alone a toothbrush Being aDmitteD to an acute “I had to ask for soap and stuff, and probably one of the swiftest ‘done psychiatric unit under section of the worse, sanitary wear – traipsing through deals’ I’ve ever known. In a matter of I went to a CPA (care plan) meeting – on my own, I didn’t mental Health act – especially for a ward full of men, going to the office, half an hour, the trust manager and I know I could have someone with me, and they told me I had the first time – can be a frightening requesting Tampax and going back had said we could joint fund a pilot! to go into hospital straight away. I felt alarmed and horrified. and traumatic experience; on top of through the ward clutching them – So began a partnership between a But they knew best I thought. I asked to go home and pack the traumatic experience of finding hardly dignified to say the least! patient, a charity and an NHS mental some things. They said no, I couldn’t do that. I said what yourself mentally unwell! and when Julia was able to transfer to a private health trust: ‘The Wellbeing & Dignity about if someone comes with me. No was the answer. So you arrive with nothing, just the clinic however, because of a health Partnership’ was born. they bundled me off to a secure psychiatric unit. I felt very clothes you stand up in, maybe insurance scheme.One major difference frightened and so alone. I was in total shock about being because you arrived in the back of stood out for Julia. When she went it gets better admitted, and to have nothing – no personal belongings – a police car, the entire experience to her room at the private clinic, it Funding was limited. What could made me feel even worse. It was three days before a relative can be an affront to your dignity and was like stepping into a hotel (with a be provided were ‘hotel style’ packs could bring anything in for me.” self worth. sanctuary’s editor, megan few exceptions!) and in the en-suite of essential toiletries – shampoo/ met a young woman who’s been bathroom was a beautiful box of toiletries conditioner/shower gel/dental kit Young woman at a Sanctuary women’s group4 there, done that, wouldn’t mind the from the White Company. Everything etc – with simple, caring messages of 5 t-shirt (on the ward as a change of she needed for a few days or so. Sadly, hope, for everyone admitted over a 6 clothes!) but also, passionately, wants the NHS ward just didn’t compare. Items month period onto the wards at the something else… might have been available but not in Department of Psychiatry in Epsom. individual packs for each patient. A few months down the way of I first met Julia after she contacted But it was how that simple gesture of organising this though, came some good me to say how much she had enjoyed fresh smelling toiletries made Julia feel news. Let’s Link has been awarded a reading Sanctuary. So much so that she that was the real eye-opener. Comic Relief grant. This will enable us was keen to get involved in some way. “To have something – slightly to produce leaving hospital information We met. In a very short space of time pampering – and extremely ‘normal’ had a packs to complement the toiletries packs. we had gabbled our way (constructive profound effect,” Julia told me “Suddenly Work is now underway to get the pilot gabble!) through a myriad of subjects I felt I was being treated with respect – my up and running as soon as possible. and issues linked to mental health sense of dignity was intact again. And I The beauty of this project is that it will and wellbeing and other things totally thought, ‘I wish everyone admitted to a include people in the community who unrelated. I soon discovered that Julia mental health ward could have this’.” have ‘been there / done that’ as well. is full of ideas. But not just ideas: Julia Clients of the Joseph Palmer Centre will has a real ambition. Two very different Cutting the long story… help assemble the packs. So people in experiences of being hospitalized The work of my organisation Let’s hospital will have the added benefit of in a private and an NHS acute unit Link, publishers of Sanctuary magazine, knowing the toiletries packs were put highlighted a real need in Julia’s mind. echoed what Julia was saying; together by fellow sufferers / survivors: a She thought everyone admitted to everything we do is about promoting message of hope in itself. NHS units should have the quality of dignity, privacy and respect for people For Julia and everyone concerned it is experience she had received in the who suffer mental distress. an exciting project based on a gesture private unit. She explained: Together, we felt the time was right of kindness, respect, privacy and dignity: “I had arrived at a psychiatric unit after to really see if we could get something the simple gift with the big heart. Julia’s being compulsorily detained under going. Julia, along with Occupational next ‘Big Idea’ is to build a retreat in the Section of the Mental Health Act. I had Therapist (OT) Bryonie from the Joseph Peak District – and possibly Italy: form nothing but the clothes I stood up in. Palmer Centre in Molesey, Surrey set an orderly queue everyone! I was feeling very low anyway, as you up a meeting with one of Surrey & can imagine; being without personal Borders Partnership NHS Foundation belongings or a change of clothes made Trust’s (SaBPFT) key managers and See the article starting on page 16 for another me feel a lot, lot worse. myself from Let’s Link. I think it was woman’s experience of being sectioned.
Sometimes it’s difficult to ground yourself. There is a way though, almost literally, by butterfly. ,’ said the participating in a little gardening. ‘Just livin g is n ot enough d a little flower.’ ine, freed om, an ndersen ave sunsh ans Christian A The Old Moat Horticultural Services in ‘On e must h H Epsom, Surrey helps people with mental health problems dig deep for recovery... Digging yourself All Ra hole my spa o Eme lp out f a hW hu de c rs rts al my an he n d gar al. Ga enta pre rde tiv den v nin e m o g i edi s a cin She kin e, g ryl d o oo , L f se d f on lf-p or a don res ll il cri ls. be d6 trou Y 7 bles ou can dig bur y Aut ging in a lot o hor the f run By riCHmonD feLLowsHip, administrative work are all available to train Unk dirt. now The Old Moat is a garden centre with a and become expert in. n difference. Many of the people who work For the visitor, the Old Moat provides a there suffer mental ill health. It is a haven for wonderful array of all the plants and flowers anyone needing some calm, thoughtful, safe you need: shrubs, ornamental trees, roses and supported occupation. Achieving the from David Austin are all there. Up to 80% sowing, growing and maintenance of plants of the plants are grown in The Old Moat’s and flowers is satisfying in itself. What it own nursery, reducing plant miles, with does for lifting the spirit, boosting self worth bedding plants grown in biodegradable and taking away some of the pain of mental pots, showing further consideration for the ill health is immeasurable. environment. You will find a wide variety But the Old Moat isn’t just about recovery of vegetable and fruit plants and trees in and restitution. It is a not for profit, but stock, and if you don’t fancy growing your nonetheless commercial enterprise and own, you can buy seasonal, freshly picked offers training in the real world of garden produce from The Old Moat shop. centre work and management. Contract gardening, park maintenance, conservation Find out more about the training The Old work, stock growing, propagation, Moat offers. It’s a kind of down to earth vegetable and fruit production, retailing and thing to do! Contact The Old Moat to enquire about referrals or you can visit the garden centre anytime. The Old Moat Garden Centre, Horton Lane, Epsom KT19 8PQ. T. 01372 731971 (office) or 01372 731970 (retail); email: email@example.com Visit the Richmond Fellowship website to learn more about our work http://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk
Getting itthe BME for right community8 Helping people from black and “The key issues that prevent engagement of black people with services and vice versa.” 9 minority ethnic backgrounds people from African/Caribbean communities – and from elsewhere such as Asian communities – accessing mental Social risk factors impede engagement with the right health and social care services as well. Poverty and homelessness (BME), particularly refugees, health services,” says Lorraine “are stigma, racism and lack of (many refugees seeking asylum for instance are living destitute to access mental health awareness and knowledge of mental ill health.” Whilst some of the issues reflect those experienced by a in the UK with no recourse to public funds); loneliness and isolation or contact with the criminal justice system all put services demands a special white community, such as stigma and even a lack of awareness people at risk. African Caribbean people for instance are more understanding of how mental around what happens to you when you receive mental health services, there is far less acceptance of the condition. Mental likely to be held under a section of the Mental Health Act. They are also over-represented in Special Hospitals, secure health is perceived in countries health simply doesn’t translate properly in other languages and attracts misconceptions of witchcraft and other negative institutions, medium secure units and prisons. For those who do get to see someone, there is hope and like Africa. Lorraine is a attitudes linked with tradition. Put simply, a mental health enlightenment. However, services don’t always get it right: community development worker problem translates as someone who has ‘lost it’. Mental illness is associated with shame and stigma and a fear of being there is evidence that BME patients are more likely to receive medication rather than be offered talking therapies. As who knows that building labelled, isolated or alienated by friends or family members. mentioned, compulsory admission to hospital is prevalent and relationships is the first step to In addition, it is seen as a sign of failure or something to be feared. And perhaps pertinently ‘madness’ is thought to be families and carers have difficulties accessing help. Lorraine and her colleagues believe the way forward is for supporting this community. She incurable, unlike our view that people can recover from mental ill health. It is not surprising then that language is the key better working relationships with faith leaders to promote inter-cultural understanding of race equality in mental health explained some of the issues to contributing factor to misdiagnosis. and better involvement of communities in the planning and Sanctuary... Lorraine also sees a circle of fear surrounding mental health. “If you combine the different layers of fear – fear of mental implementation of services from the outset. In this way people will begin to benefit in a very real way illness and fear of mental health services, you witness a vicious from being supported and cared for, and respected for their circle,” she explains “A circle that impacts negatively on the culture and race rather than misunderstood and abandoned. Contact the team: Lorraine yates – CDw, african/Caribbean, refugee & asylum seekers; 01483 459292, ext. 214 Charmaine Valler – CDw, gypsies & travellers; 01483 459292, ext. 235 kate Johnson – CDw, asian, Chinese & nepalese; 01483 459292, ext. 203
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Directory sanCtuary magazine started in surrey, commissioned by surrey pCt. with extra help from Care services improvement partnership in the south east, the magazine has a small circulation across kent, sussex, Hampshire, isle of wight, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and We are building on this directory all the time. If you Domestic abuse .............................................. • Surrey Domestic Abuse Helpline (24hr) – 01483 776822 • East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (covering Reigate & Banstead, Mole Valley & Tandridge) - 01737 771350 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.esdas.org.uk 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday, confidential answer phone out of hours. • North West Surrey Outreach Service (covering Woking, Runnymede & Surrey Heath) run by Surrey Women’s Aid - 01483 776822 (24hr) • North Surrey Outreach Service (covering Epsom & Ewell, Elmbridge & Spelthorne) run by Walton & Hersham Citizen’s Other useful contacts................................ Crisis numBers; • Samaritans, 08457 909090 www.samaritans.org.uk • Sane Line (12noon – 2am daily) 08457 678000. National out of hours helpline for anyone coping with mental illness – sufferers, carers, relatives or friends. • Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust, 0300 456 83 42; text for hard of hearing – 07717 989024 (24hrs) • Childline; 0800 1111 Community mentaL HeaLtH teams (CmHts) • Spelthorne CMHT 01784 440204 oxfordshire and milton keynes, as well as surrey. we will have anything to add that you think will benefit women’s Advice Bureau - 01932 260690 • West Elmbridge CMHT 01932 266900 continue to list organisations and help lines in surrey in this mental health and wellbeing in Surrey, please let us know. Email: email@example.com • Runneymede CMHT 01932 723392 directory but we’ve added each mental health trust in the You can contact Santuary magazine c/o Lets Link, PO Website: www.waltonadvice.demon.co.uk • Woking CMHT 01483 756318 south east and will include other important contact details as Box 533, Betchworth, RH4 9FL. 9.30 am – 4.30 pm Monday to Friday, confidential answer • Hollies CMHT 01252 312788 (8.30-5.30 Mon -Fri) we can and space permitting. Tel. 07824 364703; email; firstname.lastname@example.org phone out of hours • Surrey Heath CMHT 01276 671102 • South West Surrey Outreach Service (covering Guildford & • Guildford CMHT 01483 443551 Waverley) run by CAHA - 01483 577392 • Waverley CMHT 01483 517200 9.00 am - 3.00pm Monday – Friday, confidential answer • Godalming CMHT 01483 415155 Mental health NHS trusts across Bereavement and loss.................................. phone out of hours • Haslemere CMHT 01483 783090 the south east ............................................... • Cruse 08701671677 www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk • Farnham CMHT 01483 782095 • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Survivors of childhood abuse .................. • Conifers CMHT – cove, Fleet & Yateley area, 01483 783555 T: 01903 843000 Counselling .................................................... • C.I.S.‘ters for adult women sexually abused as children • Early Intervention in Psychosis, 01372 206262. For 14 – 35 • Kent & Medway NHS Social Care Partnership Trust. (pLease note, waiting times Can Be Long) Run by survivors for survivors – helpline Saturdays 10am – year olds who have had a first episode of psychosis within T. 01732 520400 • British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, midday 023 80 338080 recent years.12 • Isle Of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust. T. 01983 524081 0870 443 5252 www.bacp.co.uk (for details of local practitioners) • MIND, national organisation for mental health with local 13 • Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. • Heads Together (young people 14-25) 01737 378481. No fees Eating disorders .......................................... branches – www.mind.org.uk Infoline 0845 766 0163. Mind T. 023 8087 4300 • Croydon Pastoral Foundation, 020 8760 0665. Negotiable anorexia, BuLimia produce booklets on various mental health issues and • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. T. 01344 415 600 rates according to means • Eating Disorders Associations, 0845 634 1414 www.eduk.com campaign for better services • Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS • North Surrey Community Counselling Partnership, 01932 • Mental Health Foundation, national organisation for Foundation Trust. T. 01865 778911 244070 www.nsccp.co.uk A sliding scale fee basis operates Employment information, campaigns, news, interaction, including • Milton Keynes PCT. T. 01908 243933 (up to £40.00 per session) For people who do or have suffered mental ill health: information on the relation between diet and mental health; • Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. • Pathways Counselling Centre, Epsom, 01372 743338. www.mentalhealth.org.uk T. 01883 383838 Professional counselling, normal rates apply • Employment, Support, Re-training Agency (ESRA) for East • Age Concern Surrey – 01483 458732 www.acsurrey.org.uk • Redhill Counselling Centre, 01737 772844. Negotiable rates Surrey area: 2nd Floor, Rawlinson House, 9 London Road, primary Care mentaL HeaLtH teams (pCmHts) • RELATE, relationship counselling, 0845 4561310 Redhill RH1 1LY. Tel/Fax: 01737 772115 • for long term and complex mental health needs and for Alcohol and drugs ....................................... www.relate.org.uk, for a local branch. A fee is charged for referral to specialist services such as Crisis Assessment & • Drinkline, 0800 917 8282 appointments. Richmond Fellowship covering the whole of Surrey: Treatment Team, Eating Disorders service, Continuing Needs • Al-Anon, support for family and friends of alcoholics, find a • Relateen, Epsom (part of RELATE but for young people • Mid Surrey (and queries re West Surrey) RF, Manor House, 19 services. Open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm local group 020 7403 0888. disturbed/worried about parent’s relationship problems) Church Street, Leatherhead KT22 8DN. T. 01372 363934 • East Elmbridge PCMHT – 020 8873 4300 • Alcoholics Anonymous, find a local group – 0845 769 7555 01372 722976 • East Surrey RF, Rawlinson House, 9 London Road, Redhill • Epsom, Ewell & Banstead PCMHT – 01372 204000 • Drugscope, for information, www.drugscope.org.uk • Seastone Possibilities, Trauma Resolution Treatment RH1 1LY. T. 01737 771 282 • Mole Valley PCMHT – 01306 502400 • Frank (for young people and parents) www.talktofrank.com 01306 640073 / 01737 249364 email: email@example.com • Redhill PCMHT – 01737 272301 • Surrey Drug & Alcohol Action Team – for local services, www. Hearing Voices ............................................... • Tandridge PCMHT – 01883 385481 surreydat.org.uk Debt counselling .......................................... • Rethink, 020 8974 6814 www.rethink.org • Christians Against Poverty; freephone 0800 328 0006 • PsychotheraPy service (surrey & Borders Anger ................................................................ www.capuk.org Post natal depression partnersHip nHs trust). • British Association of Anger Management, 0845 1300 286 pregnancy and birth issues ...................... • Referral only but you can access an information leaflet; www.angermanage.co.uk Depression ...................................................... • Association for Postnatal Illness, 0207 3860 868. contact the Psychotherapy Service at Shaw’s Corner, • Depression Alliance, 0845 123 2320 www.apni.org; www.surrey.nhs.uk; www.babycentre.co.uk; Blackborough Road, Reigate RH2 7DG. T. 01737 277706 Anxiety ............................................................ www.depressionalliance.org www.netmums.com • Samaritans; 08457 909090 • No Panic, 0808 808 0545. www.nopanic.org.uk; • Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Trust, for mental health • National Phobics Society, 0870 7700 456 Direct Payments ............................................ Self harm ........................................................ and learning disabilities services - 01883 383838 www.phobics-society.org.uk; this is money allocated directly to a patient/service user to • www.selfharm.org.uk; www.lifesigns.org.uk; • Surrey Police; 0845 125 2222 • First Steps to Freedom, 0845 120 2916 www.first-steps.org; enable them to have more choice and independence about • www.rcpsych.ac.uk/cru/auditselfharm www.anxietycare.org.uk (firstname.lastname@example.org to find the support/facilities they can access in the community. • Bristol Crisis Service for women (national helpline); out about accessing free advice and support) For more information contact: 0117 925 1119. Friday/Saturday evenings 9pm – 12.30am. • Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC), Astolat, Coniers Sunday 6-9pm Way, Burpham, Guildford GU4 7HL. T. 01483 458111
The stress response system is a normal brings with it inertia, it can be difficult to have a positive approach to ‘working on ourselves’. Whatever your situation, in the here and now rather than engaging in unrelated thoughts and feelings. As we are less distracted by physiological mechanism activated developing new habits and making life background thoughts, we become more by danger and threats to our survival. changes can be daunting. focused and more connected to our soul However, there are hardly any physical Marina says “Many people like me and basic needs. The mind stops from dangers or real threats to our day-to- have discovered the benefits of yoga constantly roaming from topic to topic, day living. For most of us, worries and and believe that the basic ideas of over-working, obsessing about the past demands related to our lifestyle have yoga are the key to wellbeing. Studies or worrying abut the future. This can help become so pervasive and draining that have shown that yoga exercises are to disengage from long-standing beliefs our mind and body perceives them very effective in relieving stress and about ourselves and ways of thinking as real threats. Being so emotionally depression as well as keeping our body that are not helpful and thus to making aroused, the stress response is activated. young and flexible”. healthier life-style changes. Taking a few ‘me’ moments each day is Through the practice of yoga and other However, unlike the celebrities and gurus, essential to de-stress and live healthily. mindfulness techniques, we can learn to we do not need to spend long hours At some point during the day we need pay attention to moment-by-moment practicing yoga. The evidence suggests to press the relief-valve to let the steam experiences. A key principle of yoga that even a few short exercises practiced off. Whether your day is planned around practice is to focus on the breath, body on a daily basis are very beneficial to our a busy schedule or mental ill health sensations and movements as they happen physical and mental wellbeing.14 15 Stressed? away tHe praCtiCe of a few yoga exercises Before starting any exercise consult yoga at your desk does not need to take long, but it your doctor - try a yoga class at your Sit in your chair with feet slightly apart needs to be regular. We can start with local yoga centre. firmly grounded, spine erect, shoulders just a couple of minutes every day at Samsakta Prati Deva who teaches & arms dropped with a positive attitude the same time. For instance, lighting- in London has more information and towards yourself: up an aromatherapy scented candle exercises available at: part 1- Lengthening the out-breath: Pure calm is a breath in the evenings and practicing breath www.beginning-yoga.info Inhale for a count of 4; Exhale for a awareness. Exercises like that do not count of 8 (repeat for 4 rounds) require any thinking, so thoughts no Candle light meditation part 2- Linking the breath to the longer rule! In addition, taking long Light a non-flickering aromatherapy arm movement: Inhale for a count of deep breaths is our most immediate scented candle - sit comfortably - in a 4 stretching the right arm forward to defence against stress, as it helps to de- quiet place - for at least 1 minute - with shoulder’s height; Exhale for a count of activate the stress response mechanism. an attitude of love, respect, acceptance 8 releasing the arm down; Switch arm Getting into a habit of pausing and towards yourself. (repeat for 4 rounds) (variation: make a taking nice, deep mindful breaths may Eyes can be open focused focusing tight fist on the inhale and release the Few people today are in little doubt – and scientific studies have seem minor. However, it is surprising on the light or closed focusing on the fist on the exhale; bend & stretch the how such a simple and small step can be experience of breathing. Or try both. wrist, fingers pointing up on the inhale, confirmed – that there is a link between stress and diseases. The a life-changing discovery! Keep your regular 1 minute practice release on the exhale; try to inhale for 5 risk of developing high blood pressure, heart attacks, cancer, at the same time of the day. Do this at and exhale for 11 counts) ulcer, diabetes, depression and obesity – just to name a few – is least once a day. Part 3 – As above, this time lift and lower the arms at the same time increased by high stress levels. Some even argue that stress is the real hidden killer in the Western World. Sanctuary discovers some Yoga as medicine – the yogic prescription stress busters that you can almost do with your feet up! But first, for health and healing – a yoga journal book by Timothy McCall M.D. what is it that causes stress? Yoga expert Marina explains…
Gardening leave Sadly, many of you will know all about this woman’s experience but Sanctuary has highlighted it to show that still, in what next? this modern day of a niCe quiet Break in a got her was that she was not allowed to LoCkeD warD … intervene, although she was days away Question: What do you say to a ‘quality’ services, ‘Just two days ago I received a from being 21, as it was thought she was woman who in three weeks has had her couple of the best compliments I have too young (she is tiny and looks well under drink spiked twice, been burgled three there is much to ever had in my life. One was from a 18 – she tried to explain differently but times and her mobile phone(s) cut off patient in a locked ward of a mental was hushed up and pretty much in shock, because of fraud? (PS forgot to mention16 learn about patient 17 health hospital and the other from she said: “Don’t worry Mum, I’ll get you concussion, arm in plaster and a cardiac the hospital’s facilities manager. The out of there – I’ll get a lawyer.”) episode or three …) respect and dignity. patient said that: “…the hundred or so times I really thought I would die why? Answer: You say: “Gotcha, you heard of Section 3 under the Mental Health were all worth it to have a friend like So what had I done to deserve Act? No? Well never mind, it means that You at last in my life;”; the manager five public servants spending their we can say you are schizophrenic, take told me that the garden(which I had time on me? I had no previous away your basic legal rights and force transformed from a sort of circular “history,” as they say, of this sort of you to take drugs against your will for up ashtray full of cigarette butts into thing, was not under the care of a to six months …” something patients enjoyed being in) psychiatrist and had not committed BUT, you will say, you DO have rights to had never looked better since the day a crime against any other person or appeal against all of this, there are lawyers, that the hospital opened. And I will also indeed myself. And far from being there are Independent Advocates from always remember one special nurse. depressed, I had just started to work charities like Mind, and you can elect to I told her that she was: “…like Mary again for the first time in more than complain to the hospital’s Managers and/ Poppins as she was very- nearly- perfect two years, was very involved in the or to have a Tribunal to fight the decision. in every way.” I can still see her smile...’ elections, plus at a personal level, True, but the thought of having to hold Six weeks before, I was standing as a very happy with a new partner. out for seven weeks or so before the said Green party candidate in the local elections As it later emerged, the reason for my Tribunal takes place is mind numbing. And when I experienced something completely sudden plunge into the icy waters of the this is seven weeks with very little sleep, different, in the words of the Monty Python mental health system was a combination and no physical or mental freedom. team. No, it wasn’t the Spanish inquisition, of misinformation together with the The regime is so like being in prison. but it was the most terrifying experience misapprehensions of a lot of caring If you behave well and are a “good” of my life. Three six foot tall men (an people who didn’t know me from Adam, patient, which means taking your approved mental health assessor and but believed that I would benefit from medication and never arguing with the two psychiatrists) and two policewomen a “nice quiet break,” or “gardening staff, you might just be allowed to go suddenly burst into my tiny house and – leave,” as they said, in a locked ward. out for a few hours in the care of a next you’ve guessed – sectioned me. Before you start to go into a “well she of kin or a responsible friend. That is, The worst thing about it was that my would say that wouldn’t she” thought of course, if you have one living near student daughter was there at the time process, breathe deeply, and make no enough to visit and free enough to and the whole, bizarre experience forced assumptions yourself. Assumptions, get there. In time you become a sort her to pay to see a psychoanalyst as there rather than facts, are what the whole of “Trustee,” to continue the prison was nothing available on the NHS. What decision was based on. analogy, who is allowed to go out for an
hour or so unaccompanied. Behave very, Bizarrely, however, they didn’t mind me is away at university and my boyfriend reaction to abnormal circumstances, like very well and you can have a weekend wearing scarves as a belt. The logic of is working all the hours God sends and not being able to spend my daughter’s break and then “home leave” of a whole this escaped me as scarves would have can hardly get here in time to see me in 21st birthday with her? week. If you remain consistently polite been infinitely more effective should the evening. And I have been burgled I could say a whole lot more but more to the Home Treatment Team checking I have had any desire to hang myself. and my place is trashed.” important is to make sure that anyone you each day, (they come to watch you When I asked why, staff told me the Eventually I was allowed 1.5 hours to reading this knows what their rights are take your medication and ensure you reason was that the The Rules said “no” go find it. It took one hour to get home so they don’t have to learn the hard way are living appropriately – ie no mess, no to string and belts but “yes” to scarves and back. I returned jubilant with the like I did. They are: booze, no signs of rampant parties,) you and ribbon. As a consequence I closely necessary documentation but it was meDiCation: it is illegal to force may then be officially discharged. resembled a hippy. 48 hours before anyone would actually anyone to take a drug they have an It is dire. No freedom, your laptop is In my case scarves were also worn read it. This was not due to obdurate allergic reaction to, or, importantly, confiscated, and you are allowed 15 around the head initially, in order to behaviour but to the fact that the place that is contraindicated for medical minutes on the internet a week – or at cover and apply pressure to my left was hopelessly understaffed and simply reasons (the pharmacist can provide least that was what actually happened eye which had become light sensitive couldn’t spare the time –the whole information.) The reality is that it is in my case. You probably won’t following the cardiac problems. I looked system is run on an inadequate budget. damn hard not to be persuaded. Staff sleep as there is always one or more like a pirate. Staff would not, or could Neither could they spare any staff to point out again, and again, that you will patients kicking off all through the not, provide an eye patch. Given that accompany me to a hospital just 15 not be allowed out if you DON’T take night. The vast majority of patients I was also sporting a purple plaster on minutes away to remove the plaster. the “meds.” One of the most serious therefore stagger into the garden to my left arm, the general impression that Unfortunately, there simply wasn’t any concerns is dosage level. Clearly if smoke from 6.00am onwards (a good I was mad was endorsed every day by next of kin for me to call on to take me. you give the same dosage to a five night is one when you are allowed to my appearance. In the end I became In the end my former Sister in law (I am foot nothing woman as to a six foot go outside to smoke after midnight so concerned that I looked insane divorced) trekked up from an hour away something man, she is likely to suffer to relieve the strain...) I have never that I covered one lens of an old pair to get me there, bless her. She also more side effects than he … one woman smoked so much in my life; tobacco of reading glasses with white tape to talked about me to a doctor (not the was told she was suffering from anxiety and ciggies are currency and so block the light, and used the scarves as Consultant, he was ill) saying that I really when she was having a severe reaction become the subject of negotiation, sparingly as the pain would permit. was not bi-polar, an alcoholic or into to a supposedly therapeutic drug. conversation and accusation of drugs (should my Ex have intimated any mentaL HeaLtH aCt (1983): Sections meaness, selfishness and theft. purely physical? of the above, and we both suspected 1, 2 and 3 of the Act are used for people Physical problems, that is my pre-existing that he had, although this was never who “are presenting a serious risk to patients can be mad, bad and medical problems, were superseded by spelt out.) She explained that he had themselves or to others.” (Or to people18 dangerous to know the belief that mental problems were threatened her, her partner and indeed about whom serious misapprehensions 19 All you want to do is to get out. You more important. The reality of this attitude his children in a series of phone calls from are made.) An individual may appeal are not allowed any electrical object was that I was not permitted to go to another continent where he now resides against a Section in two ways: a) to the with wires (so no music, unless you hospital to have my plaster removed, with a younger and darker model of me. managers of the hospital and/or b) to a purchase a battery operated CD player despite the fact that my arm was in What she said, combined with other Mental Health Review Tribunal. or have a tiny ipod). Neither are you spasm. Neither was I allowed to see an information the same doctor and one of How to get HeLp: Legal aid will fund allowed to wear a belt. opthamologist. More importantly I had to the Nurses in Charge (the Consultant’s a solicitor; the hospital will have a list of Clearly this is because there is a risk fight to get to a famous London teaching Senior House Officer (SHO)) found local solicitors available. The services of an that patients will strangle or hang hospital for six hours of heart tests. the time to read, changed my future “Independent Advocate” from a charity themselves with any means available. Initially this was because the staff dramatically. I am also very grateful for like Mind are also on offer. This is someone Having a particularly bad sense of simply didn’t believe the problems were the intervention of people involved who is not necessarily legally trained but humour, I enjoyed wearing baggy other than in my head: Staff: “Show us in various charities I have helped in understands the legalities, for example, jeans which frequently began to fall the documentation…” Me:“It’s at home communications over the last two and who can act as a representative in a off. “Hey,” I would say to the staff, “Do and you won’t let me go there to get years. However, my problems didn’t weekly review by the Consultant and his something or I’ll lose my strides and it.” Staff:“Get someone to go round end there and then – hadn’t I appeared team as well as in Hospital Management or inflame the men...” and find it…” Me:“Who? My daughter distressed? But wasn’t that a normal Tribunal appeals. Postscript: at the time of writing the author is home and formally discharged from Section 3. She is making a formal complaint about her treatment through the hospital’s Patient Advice & Liaison service. For more information about patient’s rights, contact: www.mentalhealth.org www.rethink.org www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/ mental-capacity/publications.htm
It may have been talked arguaBLy, Personalisation has its roots in the disability, mental health survivor is abhorrent for a start) is still work in progress. Within that work though, voluntary organisations, alongside statutory providers, promoting about for some years, but the and service user movements of the Personalisation is something tangible the benefits of SDS in their local buzz word in social care is 1970s. For years, people with disabilities have argued for more control in their and more importantly, do-able. Personalisation is the umbrella term for communities. Organisations like supported employment agencies still ‘Personalisation’. What own lives and affairs. It is something different ways to ensure social care clients (Richmond Fellowship across Surrey and is it, how does it work and of a conundrum that in today’s age of equality, technology and all kinds of have a direct say in how money allocated to their care is spent. Self directed support ESRA in East Surrey) and other voluntary organisations such as Let’s Link, do you want it if you can get YOu PAYS advancements, there are still debates (SDS) is the term to describe the process publishers of Sanctuary are raising the and vast manuals being written around of putting people in control of their banner for Personalisation and steering it? Sanctuary delved into the ‘service user involvement’. Don’t we lives by helping them access services, people in the right direction. Personalisation ‘agenda’. know how to do it, get it right, yet? The facilities and support that helps give them Knowing what is available is of course documents should surely have been independence and choice. crucial to being able to choose what YOuR MONEY, relegated to the back of the shelves What kind of things can SDS pay for? you want to do in your life. It is here that by now, because every individual who It might be membership of a gym, communications, links and networks are suffers and survives mental ill health is someone to help with everyday needs, being built between health and social fully engaged with decisions about her money to train in something or other services – which hold the budgets - and YOu TAkES or his treatment, care and support: no practical ways to support day to day prospective providers. For instance how not engaged, in control! living and promote physical and mental can anyone find help to join a drama The reality is that that is not the case wellbeing. group if they don’t know it is there? across the board, not for each and every More needs to be done to promote You can find out if you are eligible for YOuR CHOICE! individual. It would seem that despite Personalisation in mental health SDS by talking to your care coordinator. all the written guidance and group services. Community networks provide Find out more about Personalisation debates, service user involvement (for the answer: the charity Together is at www.scie.org.uk and follow the link many people the term ‘service user’ tackling this nationally, with local under Putting People First.20 21
Sp an la Ta≈e-piece d sh tHe foLLowing poem was written by a young woman who had been in hospital following being sectioned under the Mental yo C o Health Act. She wrote this, some two months after admission. It shows how she was moving out of the dark and into the light. It is Gratitude also a dedication to caring and compassionate staff... ol u ur o t Crumbs thrown at a distance, constant lacking and not being fed adequately. Nurture and care missing, presumed dead. so ur Co pi Lo ev s nk u Lying, pulse racing, on a bed r th ery , sm s a co tat wh ile re p that may have been snow-covered e y is mm read re o yel opp ul th e n low in down. bu at rc do t t ? ia w h s g Calming, restorative and held by handover. Co is t Sur l pr n t e hi and up e us lo he e es he gh s v to , bu ur re m we sur m. str ky h eryw bu col t w sym or like es, Ho eet igh he Responsibility curtailed, t i ou hat bo e t ho we we s a bl re Bl t h r p a lis o as sy bo m it t w co all h er, d a es his s v n u t peace but shaking. ue th ch ut tel han lo av de re are um22 g e o e s a Time out in a safety microcosm, 23 ye reen / aid po log the ls u tha urs c ou pite do spe me o llo / s we y, wa s a t? om r fa se rnin ck r. the conceptual white: out of chaos and into light. w a in r t col y a lot pl vo aso g t led Lus re rang / llev tuit o o im ur h pu d / e / enc iate ion im ur col abo en ite nal e p h pa no ou ut Integration of a splintered mind, Br rpl stim inc our s a ct to rm w t o co tre eo ur lou nd ple gr ow e / ula rea age nxie on nly ak ha ey rs s a slowly, softly, grasped and taken, Bl ey n / imp te ses s c ty ou af es t co es . W nd ac / s nu ro s c so om r w fec us lou or w k hi / tre rtu ve on cia m ell ts u fee rs sk hy gently brought back from the te ev ng res s m fide liz uni -b s ein em A l? say in, underbelly of the brain So / a ok the an oo nc io t at ca g: ot cco abo L ... id es n d d e n io am s m po s s pr n io na rdin ut en ten tab ote oui ult lly g Not a foot wrong, ic ta tia ility cts sa ol lc l ou lar not a syllable misplaced, D re ity d dr sledgehammer anaesthetises an (in es fo si but cradling of the delicate a feat of undertaking. iels rm ti at io st n fro he n! ww m Sensitivity and cocoa, w. sq ui warmth and laughter, do o. co back to the land of the earth; m /c ol dropped from the sky. or ex pe rt) Wings and security, angel in the haze of people, beacon flashing amid lost souls and aching brains. Fractures healing, time and time again, brought into the mould and sent into a lighter world. (Julia)