I have never had the ‘pleasure’ of being a patient in a public mental health ward. I have however been a mental health inpatient on several occasions. Once I was in a private psychiatric facility for 3 weeks. The other times (about 6 times if I recall correctly) date from over 22 years ago until approximately 7 years ago and at those times I was a psych patient admitted to a general ward in a public hospital. This happened mainly because the hospital in my town doesn’t have a psych ward. The nearest hospital with a designated psych ward is 45 minutes away and, by all accounts, it is a place that is better avoided if you can so I was admitted to my local hospital under the care of either Community Mental Health Services or my General Practitioner.
My experiences were, in general, reasonably positive. There were however, some exceptions to that generalisation. Not to mention the awkward moments when I encountered nursing staff that I knew from outside the hospital (this is where the ‘in the country’ part of my experience comes into play).
Have you ever encountered professionals that you knew from outside the professional realm? How did you deal with that? Did it affect your experience in a negative or positive manner?