Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Mental Hospital Patient

Just read this:

Going to a mental hospital is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by and I encourage everyone to take that step if they find it necessary. Life can be overwhelming and sometimes we just need to heal.

I find that quote good - stigma-free. Maybe becoming a patient for a period of time will make me a better carer too? Anyway, that isn't the main purpose of my post..

I can't help comparing how a day of this particular person (no longer patient)'s day compared to those that are on my ward. Some parts of it are quite similar, but I just really want to point out the main difference, which is the rehabilitation activities. Similarly, we have all those structures (certain time for meals, medications, basic activities like garden breaks), but how about the rehabilitation part? Someone on my ward can sleep through the whole shift (7.5 hours) and not doing anything. Others can just get up only for meals and leaves and do nothing else for whole day. What's good for keeping them in there and not doing anything meaningful and productive? And worse, not even helping with their mental states and general health (well most of them are obese). There isn't structured rehabilitation activities, if there is, there are way too loose (e.g. one to one session that only takes place every one to two weeks, psychology sessions that happens only once a week etc). What can they do other than those?

Sleep + Eat.

And can you believe for these people to Sleep + Eat peacefully every single day, how much are we taxpayers paying for that?!!!! It's okay if it helps, but does it?

One used to tell a member of staff, when the latter told him he's good at cooking, he can be a cook when he leaves the hospital, the patient said "no I'm not going to work. I'll receive benefits for the rest of my life." So oh yeah, more money for his benefits, travel pass, accommodations etc. This is what the service leads them to. Ouch! that's my moneee :(


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