No support, just sirens
As part of our Raise the Standard campaign, lots of people have bravely been sharing their stories of being in a mental health hospital.
No support, just sirens, is a poem by one of our supporters about their experiences.
Beeping of machines, sirens and alarms on repeat,
Triggered my already raging PTSD endlessly - forever I couldn’t speak,
Distress I couldn't and can never put into words. I can’t be heard.
I tried to give my alerts to the staff with my room alarm,
I wanted kindness, support and calm.
They came and went, left me so drained and in more emotional pain,
They didn’t support me, they just shied away.
They gave me the blame and shame on top of my own I experienced - and experience - day after day.
I didn’t shower or change,
One set of clothes exactly the same,
No one helped or seemed to care,
My hair I left untouched, unbrushed,
Normally I’d have brushed it, wanting my personal appearance but I needed support to have dignity and remind me to look after my personal care.
I needed looking after, support to brush my hair - but it just wasn’t there.
Not enough art therapy, no support for me being unable to speak,
I was trapped in by their responses to my PTSD,
Alone, afraid, not able or given chances or ways to explain,
My PTSD caused the staff fear and shame, assuming my special needs were to blame.
My stay worsened my PTSD,
Still living, still breathing, the effect forever was unseen.
It’s taken me years to find the pieces of me.
PTSD will remain forever in me,
I wish during my stay that I had been seen.
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But it’s outdated and not working.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.
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.