This page will, over time, become a little library of free resources by yours truly for people who are suffering from mental illness or those who love them. You may share or distribute these resources however you like, but please acknowledge where you got them from 🙂
The first installment is for those who find out a friend or family member is in a psychiatric hospital …
Finding out a friend or loved one has been admitted, or has admitted themselves, to a psychiatric hospital can be confronting news, especially if – as is often the case – it is surprising news. Unfortunately, mental health isn’t always easy to deal with, so sometimes we can be shocked to learn that someone’s struggle has reached the point where a hospital or clinic admission is the best option.
I know that we might not want to visit people in psychiatric hospitals, because we don’t know what it will be like, we have no idea what to talk about, and we’re not even sure whether our friend or loved one will want to see us.
My advice – for what it’s worth! – is to ring ahead to see if the patient is able to receive visitors, and if so, to check that they want to see you, and when. If the staff say they are allowed to receive visitors, but they say they don’t want to see you, try not to take it as a personal insult. They could be needing a bit of “time out” from the world, or may be expecting a visit from their doctor, or have group therapy obligations.
If you do decide to visit, here are two resources for you:
It can be very difficult to know what to talk about when visiting a patient in a psych ward. Here is a list of suggested conversation topics, things you might ask about, and topics I suggest you avoid. Of course, these are general suggestions, and may not be suited for all people. To download the .pdf file, click here.
You can still express you care and concern for a psychiatric inpatient through flowers or other gifts, just as you would a patient in a general hospital, provided you adhere to the rules of the facility they’re staying in. Always check with staff before giving anything to a psych inpatient. Having said that, you can download a list of suggested gifts and other useful items your friend or loved one may need here.
Newsletter: Dysthymia Bree’s ‘Best of the Best’
Don’t you hate remembering that you read about a great resource somewhere, and spending ages trawling through blogs and searching comments, trying to find it again? That drives me up the wall! So I thought I’d collate and send out a newsletter with what I think are the ‘best of the best’ posts, blogs, websites and resources.
I respect your inbox, so you’ll only hear from me very occasionally, and it goes without saying that I’ll never sell, share, rent or otherwise misuse your email address. Naturally each newsletter will arrive with an easy “Unsubscribe” option, too.
If you’d like to sign up, complete this form, and please feel free to let me know any particular topics which interest you: