"Thank you so much for your help and support"

About: Advocacy Support Cymru

(as a service user),

I was detained in a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act several weeks ago.

My first psychiatry meeting was held on the first day I was admitted to hospital.

In my first psychiatry meeting in hospital, I expected to be seen by a psychiatrist and a nurse alone.

However, when I walked into the meeting room, I saw eight people sitting in a meeting room waiting for me, including a psychiatrist, a trainee doctor who was responsible to take notes, another trainee doctor, a nurse, another nurse, a student nurse, a pharmacist and a trainee pharmacist (?). I was absolutely overwhelmed to be greeted by so many health care professionals.

During the meeting, the psychiatrist talked about the reason why I was there, my diagnoses and the treatment plan in details in front of trainee doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. The psychiatrist also asked me to talk about my thoughts in details in front of them, I was extremely unease to talk about self-harm, overdosed and suicidal thought in front of other seven strangers at the time.

I was very upset and distressed after the meeting, I was like I was not being treated with the dignity and respect I should expect when I was in crisis.

Days later, Helen who is an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) of Advocacy Support Cymru (ASC), introduced herself to me on the ward.

I told Helen I was extremely distressed and traumatized after the first meeting. She listened to my views and concerns, and she explained to me what are my options and rights in a psychiatric hospital. To help me stand up for my rights and speak for me, Helen promised me she could accompany me and support me in my next meeting with the psychiatrist and other health care professionals.

Helen is brilliant! She is very competent and experienced advocate, and she takes things seriously.

I find it extremely helpful to have Helen to stand up for my rights and speak for me, particularly in a meeting with a psychiatrist. By doing so, it makes me feel less worried of being misunderstood or having my concerns dismissed by the psychiatrist.

I highly recommend you to have an advocate to stand up for your rights and speak for you! And please do not miss it when the opportunity arises!

Thank you Helen, for everything you have done to me 😊.

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