- Jun 22, 2014
As I read posts from members in the UK, and what they experience as mental health patients, it seems things are handled very differently there than they are here. I can only speak from my own experience and observations. Here, when I am a serious danger to myself, I check myself into my favorite ( and I use that term loosely) hospital. It's a private hospital, with some good doctors and staff. The food is pretty good and they have many activities, such as: yoga,dance therapy, art therapy, expressive therapy, group therapy,etc. You see your psychiatrist every day, stand in line for meds at the nurse's station and have a one on one meeting with a staff member every day. You also have a social worker who arranges formal family meetings to discuss progress and aftercare. You are checked for every 15 minutes so your safety and whereabouts are known at all times. Something that I find frightening is that all different diagnoses roam the halls and lounge together, even if one has shown a propensity for violence. I was attacked during one stay by a huge 400 pound man--with no warning he slammed me up against the wall and tried to make me fall as I escaped him. When a patient acts out they are sent to the quiet room. If there is assault involved, they call a code 6 and security guards arrive. Sometimes if you are really in a fit they give you what we jokingly call,"the booty juice". That will knock you right out . They can also strap you down.obviously these are things you want to avoid! They use a numerical system, self reported am and pm--you give a number for your safety level in hospital and a number for outside--1 means, I plan to follow through on suicidal plans, 10 means I'm completely safe. Usually the really manic people come in and say," I'm a thousand and one!!!" There are also the poor souls who arrive in handcuffs because they were having a bad time, called a hotline and the minute you say suicide or anything like it, the police arrive at your house and off you go to the mental hospital. After 3 days of observation they are almost always released. This is not a complete picture of the mh situation here-- obviously it is much harder on those who are impoverished. I would very much like to know what the situation is where you live. Any input is appreciated.