Ben*

In: Our stories

I have lived in many different places over the years. My previous hospital was a huge place and I remember all the people there. I moved lots of times between hospitals and sometimes my behaviour was very bad. I always felt terrible after hurting people but I couldn’t control myself. I had times when I felt very sad and I struggled to express myself in the right way. I was on Section 3 because I was a risk to myself and others. Staff helped me do almost everything back then.

Community Hospital

I have lived at this community hospital since 2011. I was really pleased to come because my sister lives nearby. My sister helped me chose my room and I love it because it’s big and I have my own private bathroom. I like it here, the neighbourhood is full of things to do and this feels more like home. It is a smaller house and I get to go out and do the things I love. The staff are kind people who are very nice and they understand me, they help me really well.

When I am feeling well I am much more independent. At home, I have learnt to keep my room tidy, dress and wash myself and go into the kitchen to make my drinks and lunches. My house mates sometimes upset me but mostly we are friends. I understand more about sharing my space with others. I also do lots of things out in the community like going bowling, going to the cinema, cycling, gardening, shopping and going to the pub. I see my sister all the time and we go for walks with her dog. It’s so nice to live close to her so she can visit me.

I have much more freedom here and can make choices about what I want to do every day. The staff understand me and know how to help me when I am having a bad day. Because I love cars and transport I have a bus pass and disabled rail card. This means I can go on lots of trains and buses for free.

My Staff team and therapists have worked with me closely. I really like my sessions. I am more aware of money and how much I get per month. I chose my own clothes and would like to buy a suit and tie soon. I still get anxious but staff support me to listen to my music or talk to them. They also use pictures of the van with me which helps when I get frustrated if it is out. I have learnt how to express my emotions and this means I get frustrated less and can ask for help when i need it. I write a journal now which my assistant psychologist looks at with me and my writing and reading are getting much better. This also helps me to remember all the good things I have done. I speak to my advocate about anything that worries me and she helps me communicate things with staff. I also have yoga therapy which relaxes me and I love the massages.

Residential service

Now the Community Hospital has become a residential home. I am also off my section 3 which is a great success for me. I have coped well with the change. I behave much better here than I did in some of the hospitals in the past. I feel much happier in myself and look forward to doing the things I chose in my days.

My favourite trip recently was going to Southend on Sea with staff and the other clients and it was a wonderful day. We also went to Imperial War Museum which I loved and then we had a picnic in the park. I will get to do more of these things now, and I am proud of what I have achieved.