A collective story of inpatient mental health treatment

Written by Marianne Wyder
Based on the contributions, experiences and writings of:

Jenny Giang, Birthe Griffith, Deborah Irvine, Sharon Juma, Joan Koenig Hughes, John Maher, Rise Faith Rosello, Helena Roennfeldt, Bridie Stewart, Hoa Ta, Rosslyn Taylor, Marianne Wyder and others who preferred to withhold their names from publication.

We would like to thank Naiara Carillo for her editing and the wider A Place to Belong Community for their ongoing support and comments on the various drafts of this chapter.

This is the story of Anne. It is also a story of recovery and rediscovery of our ‘self’ after a time of significant mental health distress.

This first chapter marks the start of this journey.  In this chapter we meet Anne and through her eyes get a glimpse of what it is like to be in a psychiatric inpatient unit. We are also introduced to other individuals with similar journeys.
This story is based on the experiences and writings of a group of individuals who have experienced – or supported others experiencing – a time of significant mental health distress. This project started in February 2015, after a workshop held by A Place to Belong about the future of inpatient mental health care.  Since that time we have met on a monthly basis and shared some of our journeys. During these sessions we also wrote about our challenges and successes.

These writings were then collected by Marianne, who incorporated these into Anne’s story. No one character in this story is based on one person’s experience and all of our experiences are represented in the different characters in this story.

We are currently writing an academic paper where we reflect on how health care professionals can best support us during these times.
For further contact Marianne can be reached on – M.wyder@outlook.com

Chapter1: The hospital

New journal article about RAW group

Link

The journal Literacy and Numeracy Studies published by the University of Technology, Sydney has recently published an article about the Reading and Writing Group at A Place to Belong.

The article is called “He was learning to read, but he wasn’t learning to live :Socially inclusive learning in a community setting”  by Greg Marston of QUT and Jeffrey Johnson-Abdelmalik .

The link to the journal article http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/lnj/issue/view/350