Friday, 24 May 2019

TEN WAYS TO HELP SOMEONE IN A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS



And I would have stayed up with you all night

Had I known how to save a life




When I felt suicidal recently, I cut my wrist. I’m sorry to say it so bluntly but there’s really no way to sugar coat something like that! Anyway, I’ve never done anything like that, so I got scared and when I saw all of the blood, I rang an Ambulance. They told me I needed stitches and took me to A&E but I got scared and I just couldn’t stay there so I left, the Police were called and they found me, told me I didn’t have capacity and took me back to A&E. A very cold Consultant came along and said I did have capacity before discharging me. When I got home, I took some Diazepam (a very mild sedative) and fell asleep. In the morning, I felt better and took myself to Minor Injuries for the stitches. Unfortunately, though, because the wound had been open for so long, they said it wouldn’t close and has had to remain open and be redressed every few days. When I spoke to my Mum, she asked why I hadn’t taken the Diazepam before cutting because it might’ve helped me and maybe I wouldn’t have done it. I told her that I hadn’t thought of it and she suggested that I write a list on the whiteboard in my Kitchen so that if I have another crisis, I can look at the list and try all of the coping skills that the crisis makes me forget. And then I thought, wouldn’t be good to come up with a list of things that I think everyone could know/use to support someone in a mental health crisis.

The most important thing to know, before you read this list, is that reading this and being prepared to use it doesn’t make you a professional because I’m not a professional. This list is just things that I’ve found helpful for both myself and others and it won’t work for everyone but there’s some really broad tips and some that could easily be adapted to fit the person’s crisis/personality/type of mental health problem. I mean, a mental health crisis will mean something different to different people. For someone with anxiety, a mental health crisis could be a panic attack. For someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (like me) a crisis could be feeling suicidal. No crisis is any more or less severe than another. But that does mean these tips might not even be relevant for some people!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

TEN THINGS I BELIEVE IN


I recently had a mental health crisis and in it, a Paramedic said that they believed that in the moment I felt suicidal and they believed that so much that their job was to make sure that I didn’t take away the possibility of that feeling going away. That their job was to make sure I didn’t kill myself. I told them that the suicidal thoughts were much more powerful than the hope that those thoughts would go away.

Having such a strong belief that dying was the best option for coping with life, made me think about all of the other, very negative beliefs that I used to have. Before psychology in Hospital, I held the belief that I was destined to die young; I honestly believed that I’d been put on this earth to commit suicide. I also felt – and occasionally still feel – that I deserved what had happened to me. What had been done to me. The Psychologist, and many other professionals, told me that if I’d never say that to another person then why should I be any different? These two firm beliefs spurred on my self-harm and suicide attempts and for a while (about four years) they were all I believed in. So, I thought that it might help to talk about the positive, healthy beliefs that I now hold…

Monday, 20 May 2019

FILMING 'HOPE' WITH THE NHS | IN COLLABORATION WITH NORTHUMBERLAND, TYNE & WEAR NHS FOUNDATION TRUST | AD




I was honoured to be asked to film with NTW for their film about 'hope.'

Both versions of the films can be viewed at www.ntw.nhs.uk/hope
It is generally accepted that hope plays a crucial part in recovery from mental illness. The film came from Peer Support Workers looking at how we connect with people at a time when we feel that we have lost hope. Something Peer Support workers do on a day to day basis. We wanted to explore how we help people see that others have been through similar experiences and felt hopeless, however have found a way back. It is hoped, this film will be a powerful tool to anyone in finding hope, whether that be as a person experiencing mental ill health themselves, or a person’s friend or family member. 

MY ASTHMA | IN COLLABORATION WITH ASTHMA UK | WHAT IT IS, ATTACKS, & ADVICE | AD




*Some of this information has been taken from www.asthma.org.uk (with their permission!)*

With it being pollen season, I thought it important to chat about something that affects 5.4 million people in the UK!

Asthma is a long-term condition that means you have ‘sensitive’ airways which are inflamed and react to particular ‘triggers.’ One in every twelve adults and one in every eleven children are currently receiving treatment for Asthma – that’s around 5.4 million people in the UK. Asthma in children affects more boys than girls but in adults it affects more females than males. It can run in the family but being diagnosed with mild Asthma as a child will often mean that it will improve as you get older.

Because everyone’s Asthma is different, diagnosis can often take time and involves tests (such as blood tests, a chest X-ray, an ECG etc.) that your GP can both do and refer you for. Here’s some symptoms to look out for:H
·         Coughing that won’t go away or keeps coming back and is especially there after being active
·         Wheezing which can sound like a whistling when you breathe
·         Chest tightness
·         Shortness of breath
 


I was a child when I was diagnosed so I can’t remember the entire process, but my Mum said that from a young age I would wake up coughing during the night but it was intermittent so Doctors didn’t think I had Asthma initially. My Mum had to try everything to get me diagnosed and eventually I had a Bronchoscopy and allergy tests to be told I sounded like a ‘creaky gate.’ After being diagnosed, I was put on inhalers though I initially struggled to use them at such a young age, I’ve now mastered (I think!) the technique. My Mum attended talks on Asthma to do everything to understand the intrinsic and extrinsic triggers (which ranged from pollen to excitement!) that led to my worst asthma attack when I was rushed to Hospital and put on a nebulizer




Sunday, 19 May 2019

DAY SEVEN MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK | BODY IMAGE Q&A WITH... MENTAL HEALTH STAFF, ANGELA SLATER



Name: Angela Slater
Age: 43
Location: Durham

Why did you agree to take part in this Q&A?
I like to support efforts to raise awareness on mental health and different parts of life that can impact on mental wellbeing. Body image is something that has a wide ranging impact in modern society and on people’s mental health so it is an important topic to discuss.

At what age do you think you first began to take notice of your body image?
I think I was quite young (maybe 7 or 8) but I don’t think I was excessively bothered with this until about 12 or 13 years old.

What made you take notice?
I think it was a combination of my age, body changes, social pressure, and wanting to ‘fit in’ that made me take notice.