Life after Discharge (Recovery Story)
A Recovery Story
The transition from hospital to the community can be challenging. When I was discharged I felt so out of the loop, meaning so much had happened without me whilst I was in hospital it felt over-whelming. But take it from me; though at first it is difficult, it always works out well in the end. Once I was back in the community I felt lonely and it was very quiet. I was used to other young people and staff being around all the time and I was used to the constant bustle of every day hospital life.
And so I found that it was difficult to adjust to this and although I liked the peace and quiet it didn’t feel “normal” at first. However, once I was discharged I got plenty of support. Firstly, I was introduced to my consultant. They will be there to check in with you and if you’re on any medication or need any they can monitor and prescribe you this. I see my doctor every month/two months and the sessions are usually half an hour long. After meeting my consultant I was allocated a key worker (a psychologist) who I would be seeing weekly/fortnightly depending on how much support I needed.
Some services offer less or more depending on the area you live in and what team you come under. In some areas you may be given a community nurse or a social worker. A social worker will look after your social needs. You may also be offered an STR worker (support, time and recovery worker) who focuses on you and your recovery. My STR worker tends to take me out for a coffee or to support and recovery groups such as emotion regulation or even the gym. With this support I felt a lot more at ease. I began to catch up on life and fall back into everyday life in the community relatively quickly.
I found keeping myself busy definitely helped, I’d finished school and so I decided to volunteer for young people with learning disabilities which helped me a lot because I had to focus on someone other than myself. I lost myself in the work, it meant I forgot about my difficulties and I could focus and enjoy helping the young people to feel comfortable. Finding yourself a hobby may also be a good idea- my hobby is horse riding and I got back into riding almost every day and it gave me something to focus on and put all my energy into. It took up my days and didn’t give me time to think about anything else because I needed to look after my horse. It’s worth asking your team if there are any support groups in your area. I joined an outdoorsy group with three other people.
We did lots of different activities such as pet therapy, jewellery making, gardening and animal care. Personally, I thought this helped me incredible amounts with my confidence. I learnt some social skills and I was able to talk to the other service users there and even help them with certain things as well as have a good laugh and share ideas.
Asking for more support isn’t a bad thing. I always struggled to ask for more support but once you do it it’ll be a relief. In my case, whenever I asked for support, my team stepped up to my request and helped me out in any way they could. It is difficult transitioning from hospital back into the community but if you do use the support and ask for help when you need it then it will hopefully be easier for you.
- Megan, ex-service user.
We have been given permission to share a personal recovery story from an ex-service user, Luke. In his video (below) he highlights his own personal mental health journey, beginning in 2016 and continuing to the present day.
Luke who used our CAMHS service up until last year, has very bravely opened up about his struggles with mental health and the affect it has had on his life since being at school.
In documenting the highs and lows he has experienced over the past four years, he also talks about his experience of our CAMHS service and how a member of CAMHS staff made a positive difference to his life.
You can watch Luke’s journey here.