Week Three – 2// Story Time: I did work experience at a MENTAL ASYLUM!!

Hi, guys and welcome back to my blog!!!

Today, I’m going to tell a short story about something I did this summer. If you’ve read my about page, you will know that I want to be a doctor, (got some more to explain about that soon) so this summer I had an amazing opportunity to spend 3 days at a psychiatry hospital or if you like a mental asylum…I arrived day one, it was on the edge of town, by itself, not much was around just a Tesco. Creep level: high. I walked into the reception and a man with a hi-vis jacket was sat at the desk; no normal receptionist I tell you that. Creep level: higher.

I arrived day one, it was on the edge of town, by itself, not much was around just a Tesco. Creep level: high. I walked into the reception and a man with a hi-vis jacket was sat at the desk; no normal receptionist I tell you that. Creep level: higher.

Walking up to the desk, I stated that I was here on work experience to shadow a psychiatrist. He looked at me and replied, go right through the doors, and make sure they shut behind, he then pointed to a building opposite the reception, across the lawn and ring the doorbell. Make sure the doors shut behind you, he repeated. In my mind I kept repeating the words, this is not a mental asylum, this is not a mental asylum.

I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t that bad, for most of the part, I wasn’t allowed on the ward because it was predominantly male and if I did go on I had to be supervised and with an alarm. Yeah, scary. I would sometimes be walking in the main office part and then turn to where the locked doors would see a lady just standing there, smiling at me and sometimes she would wave. Creep level: increasing higher.

One experience involved me and a doctor, she was giving me a tour of the establishment because it consists of many different wards all at different risk levels (Note: I was on a high-risk ward, Creep Level: High) and then a previous patient was also walking around the grounds. The doctor said to me, we need to get back to the ward after seeing him. Apparently, this specific patient had been discharged a couple of weeks back but kept coming back for no reason. I’m not going to lie, I was scared. However, I loved it!

Weird, right.

The whole experience made me see a different side to mental health and despite my suspicions, it was a very nice environment, the doctors did everything to help the patients. In no way was this blog post trying to stigmatise mental health; I think it is important that we talk about mental health as it is just as important as our physical health. This post is more talking about getting rid of the idea that people who suffer from mental health issues should be “put away”. In fact, I gained invaluable experience from this placement and I immensely enjoyed interacting and seeing other people who we would class as ‘abnormal’; the way they think and act.

There are more tales to tell of this experience but I’ll save those for another day 😉

Peace out, accidental aspirationalists x

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