Service user discharged on World Mental Health Day talks about her journey at Cygnet Raglan House

For six years, Jasmin* was hearing voices every day in her head and thought she’d never be able to look forward to a happy, healthy future. Today, on World Mental Health Day, she is finally being discharged from hospital back into community living.

Jasmin was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and ADHD when she was 24-years-old. In her twenties, she was admitted to ten different psychiatric hospital in five years, several of these under Sections of the Mental Health Act.

She struggled with illicit substance misuse, had taken multiple overdoses, been recalled to hospital twice on a Community Treatment Order (CTO) and had experienced a breakdown of her supported living community placement.

In addition, she had experienced multiple relapses of her schizophrenic illness due to a combination of illicit substance use, inconsistent engagement with staff and non-compliance with medication, partially a result of unwanted weight gain. Jasmin was on an Acute ward when she was referred to Cygnet Raglan House in late 2019.

“Hearing voices was so distressing,” she explained. “I felt hopeless, like I would never be free. I was really paranoid, I couldn’t trust anybody.”

Jasmin needed support around her daily routine, self-care and interacting with others. She was unable to access the community due to her impulsivity and high-risk behaviour, and on previous escorted leave she had managed to run from staff onto busy roads without regard for herself or the oncoming traffic.

The psychiatry team at Cygnet Raglan House focused on supporting Jasmin with her auditory hallucinations and over the coming months they started reducing, her mood stabilised and she began to build a relationship with the staff. Through developing rapport and building trust, Jasmin started to express an interest in childcare and wanting to improve her English and Maths skills to facilitate this. The team arranged for Jasmin to attend sessions with a tutor and she volunteers once a week with the British Heart Foundation to develop her routine, responsibilities and engagement.

The team worked with Jasmin on relapse prevention and future plans, alongside her regular therapy sessions, and today, she will be discharged into community living.

“It has changed my life coming to Raglan House,” she explained.“I was hearing voices constantly for six years and was really paranoid. Now after all those years, I am voice free. This is down to being put on suitable medication, psychology and a lot of different therapeutic groups.

“The staff couldn’t be more supportive. Everyone from the nurses, the doctors, the support workers and the occupational therapists, they are all brilliant. They genuinely care about you. Whatever you want to do, they will help you. I feel like I’m in a strong place to enjoy the rest of my life.

“Being discharged on World Mental Health Day is really nice. It just reminds me of how far I’ve come and how proud I should be of myself.”

*Name has been changed to protect Jasmin’s identity

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