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Chris’ Journey on Madison Ward

An example of some of Chris’ gardening work
In our latest blog we meet Chris*, a service user on Madison Ward, a specialist medium secure service at Cygnet Hospital Bury for men with a personality disorder and enduring mental health needs. In the blog Chris describes how he initially struggled to integrate and how working with the psychology team helped him to settle on the ward with the help of a bespoke package of care.

I am Chris, before I came to Cygnet, I was in lots of different hospitals and did not have a place to call home. Since the age of 17, I have been in hospital and at this time and until around a year ago, I was really struggling with my mental health and I had no hope for the future.

When I was first admitted to Madison Ward at Cygnet Hospital Bury, I found this difficult to cope with. I had a tough time and I did not feel safe. Sometimes I needed to spend time off the ward because I felt unsafe and I acted aggressively. I felt like I was never going to move forward and that I had no hope for the future, I felt that I did not have the support that I needed.

I worked very hard with the psychology team to reintegrate onto the ward. This was difficult at first but I got used to the idea through working hard to change my behaviour. Together with psychology, we worked together to move back onto the ward, this was through a graded award system based on my risk.

With the help of a bespoke package of care, I came back to the ward successfully. This means that I have a team around me who I feel understand me and this makes me feel safe. Without working together with my team, I would not have been able to come back to the ward environment and achieve my goals.

I have now been back on the ward for 12 months with no issues. My quality of life has improved significantly and now visit the local town. I have been to the cinema and I have been to see my family. This is something that I have not been able to do for a very long time. I also attend leisure groups on a regular basis and have a paid hospital job which I am proud of.

Working together with my team, I have utilised Positive Behavioural Support working to help me in stressful situations. I have taught my team ways in which I like to be supported to help me when I am in crisis. I have been able to share this work with people outside of my bespoke package, such as with medical students and assistant psychologists.

My advice to others who are experiencing the same difficulties as I have done in the past is: “Listen to the staff and use their support, ignore others who are trying to wind you up. Carry on focusing on your own goals and pathway and if you do this, you will get to where I am now. I feel happier, safer and have more hope for the future and so will you!”

*name has been changed to protect his identity.

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