Skip to main content
Tag

15 day stay

My World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 – A Fifteen Day Stay in a Mental Health Ward

By HealthNo Comments
15-day-stay-2019-0

I got admitted to a Mental Health Ward for a fifteen day stay on World Suicide Prevention Day 2019.

On Tuesday 10th September 2019 it was World Suicide Prevention Day. It is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and is supported by the World Health Organization. Suicide is a complex issue, but in many cases it can be prevented. Warning signs that someone is contemplating or planning suicide can include:

  • Talking about wanting to die, saying that they feel everything is pointless.
  • Talking about being in unbearable pain.
  • Lacking any apparent care for themselves. Having no plans and avoiding making plans for the future.
  • Having a diagnosed mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc.
  • Being anxious, irritable, angry or socially withdrawn.
  • Reporting difficulties with sleeping or sleeping for a large number of hours and still feeling exhausted.
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use.
  • Previous suicide attempts.
  • Giving away a lot of possessions.
  • Saying Goodbye to people, as if they will never see them again.

Back to me. I’d been struggling with my mental health for some time. My mood was (and still is at times) so low. I was/still am at times in a very dark place. Showing some of the warning signs above.

So I went to my GP. I was very honest about how I was feeling. My GP referred me to the Crisis Team for immediate assessment. After being assessed by them, I waited to be seen by the Home Treatment Team. I waited for what seemed like forever and just wanted to go home to bed. However I was warned that if I left the Police would be called to bring me back. I saw someone from the Home Treatment Team and in under 5 minutes she decided that I needed an admission to a Mental Health Ward.

15-day-stay-2019-1

A green observation light directly above my head in bed. Unable to be turned off and required for staff observations, it did not help me get to sleep or stay asleep.

I spent fifteen days mostly waiting on the ward. Waiting for the next meal, the next medication, the next time I would be reviewed by a doctor. There were activities, but I just wasn’t well enough to participate in them, especially at the start of my stay. My limited concentration span and extreme tiredness being restrictive.

The care that I received during my admission, as well as the care I observed other patients receive was quite frankly unsafe and caused physical, mental and emotional harm. There were some good aspects to the care – like that most of the staff were kind and compassionate. But these good aspects did not make up for the poorer aspects of care. I’m still not well, after a fifteen day admission they still haven’t managed to sort out my medication to fully balance my mood.

I plan to write an exposé report with the issues I experienced or observed other patients experience in relation to the care on the ward, along with suggestions on how they could improve the care given. This is a brave thing to do, especially as I will do it knowing I may end up requiring care on this ward again in the future. But as a Nurse I feel it is my duty to do so and that it would be unethical to say or do nothing.

So the update:

  • I’m now on 3 mood stablisers: Aripiprazole (External Link to HeadMeds) – new for me, Depakote (started on this earlier this year) and Quetiapine (put back on this).
  • My mood is good in the morning, but then crashes and is very low in the evening and at night.
  • I’m now struggling to remain asleep and often wake up wide awake several times in the early hours of the morning.
  • I’m seeing someone from the Recovery Team later this week and have already requested a medication review.
  • Steve, my mum and my sister-in-law to be have all been amazing.
  • Worryingly I still see the same warning signs that I was displaying before being admitted to hospital.

That was my World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 and what’s happened since. Take Care & Blog Soon,

Antony

P.S – Whilst researching more about World Suicide Prevention Day for this blog post, I came across this really good Infographic, that you might find useful to know about, by the Mental Health Foundation:

MHF-Infographic-WAIT-2019

Click for Full Size Image. Copyright © Mental Health Foundation, 2019.

P.P.S – A plug for my book:

mental-health-wisdom-banner

Share on Social Media: