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Inpatient care for young people

Hospital should be a safe place where everyone can get treatment for their mental health. But for many young people, the reality is very different. We spoke to dozens of young people about their experiences of inpatient care and their views on fixing the Mental Health Act. Read our report – Our rights, our voices – to find out what they said.

Read the report

“It kept me alive, but it wasn’t an appropriate place for me to be. The alarms, the banging, the screaming and restraints are absolutely awful for anyone to go through.”

More than a quarter of young people told us they tried to take their own life while waiting to get mental health support.

Half of young people said they weren’t treated with respect when they were admitted to hospital.

Some young people told us they were promised community support that never happened. Some left hospital with no plan at all.

9 out of 10 young people felt their views weren't listened to when they were in hospital. Many felt left out of decisions about their care.

What inpatient care could be like for young people

But it doesn't have to be this way. We spoke to lots of young people who told us about the glimmers of good care they did receive in hospital. And we heard about the reforms they want to see to the Mental Health Act.

“Having an advocate helped me feel listened to, less alone and more like a human being.”

Young people we spoke to said more information would've made a huge difference. Like information about being sectioned, what their rights were, and the treatment they'd get.

Outdoor spaces, more time with professionals, and support with leaving hospital were the key things young people said would've helped them to get better.

Young people told us it would have helped if they were treated as an individual. Staff should understand all aspects of illness and identity – so they realise how scary it is to be unwell while away from family and friends.

The young people we spoke to simply wanted to be more involved in their own care. They wanted a written care plan, and to be included at meetings where their treatment was talked about.

Learn more about inpatient care

Read the full story of what inpatient care is like for young people in England and Wales.

Read the report

Where to get support

We know going into hospital for your mental health can be really scary. But know that you're not alone. If you've been affected by the issues on this page, we have lots of information on going into hospital, specially designed for young people.

Read our information for young people

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