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As part of our Raise the Standard campaign, lots of people have bravely been sharing their stories of being in a mental health hospital.

chained is a poem by Emma, about their experiences in a CAMHS inpatient unit.

In the depths of a mental health hospital's haze,
I found myself trapped in a disorienting maze.
The walls were sterile, the air heavy with despair,
A place where my trauma was meant to be repaired.

But instead, I felt lost within those confines,
Aching for solace, for gentle, understanding signs.
The staff rushed by, their faces tired and worn,
The system's gears creaked, where compassion was torn.

Each day blended into an endless blur of pain,
My heart heavy, burdened by the weight of my brain.
The stigma clung to me, like a suffocating cloak,
As if my struggles were nothing more than just a cruel joke.

I yearned for a sanctuary, a refuge from the storm,
A place where my healing could genuinely transform.
Where my voice would be heard, my story truly seen,
A space where empathy and kindness would intervene.

Change must come, like a gentle, healing breeze,
To dismantle the chains that bind, release the disease.
The approach must shift, to nurture and empower,
To treat each person as whole, allow them to bloom and flower. 

Let us break the silence, confront the taboo,
Open our hearts to the pain that others accrue.
Let compassion guide the way, for it has the might,
To shatter the darkness, ignite a hopeful light.

For within these walls, wounded souls reside,
Seeking solace, a safe harbour where they can confide.
We must listen, truly listen, to their heart's plea,
And rewrite the narrative, to set their spirits free.

Create an environment where love and respect prevail,
Where healing is nurtured, where hope will never fail.
A place where therapy is more than just a routine,
But an authentic connection, a lifeline unforeseen.

So let us strive for change, with relentless dedication,
To transform the mental health landscape, a vital foundation.
To build a future where these hospitals will be redesigned,
With empathy, compassion, and love forever entwined.

We must allow our voices to rise,
To advocate for change, to challenge the guise.
For in sharing these stories, we find strength anew,
And together, we can change the system, creating a world that's true. 

How you can help

The Mental Health Act is 40 years old. It's the law which says when you can be detained (or sectioned), and receive mental health treatment against your will.

But it’s outdated and not working. People detained under the Act don’t have enough say in their treatment.

It's time for the UK government to Raise the Standard of mental health hospitals, and change the Act before the next election.

Sign our petition, and help us call for this.

Sign the petition

Where to get support

We know that going into hospital for your mental health can be really scary. If you're affected by any of the issues on this page, know that you're not alone. We have information on going into hospital, the care you might get, and what happens if you're sectioned.

> Read our information for adults

> Read our information for young people

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