"Melissa Suite Oleaster has helped me twice in 3..."

I am by no means a veteran of mh hospitals but I have stayed in four, both in London and Birmingham, over the last three and a half years. In regards to atmosphere, Oleaster's Melissa suite is by far the best. This time I found, "The Venue" extremely beneficial, it is basically a room and court yard off the wards, all inpatients are welcome and they provide varied entertainment all day, everyday. On the ward, I kept myself to myself, from experience making friends in a mental health environment is not wise, if not eating in the communal area, I would be in a side room playing guitar ?? or in my room blogging, but I met some very like minded people in the venue, people that also carried note books everywhere, people who also wrote poetry and lyrics, people who played musical instruments, people who wanted to sing and jam with me. The staff were non judgemental, accommodating, non invasive, helpful and detrimental towards my crisis recovery. Since being discharged, I would have loved to continue going for support and something positive to do. It was not explained to me that once discharged from home treatment, I would not be entitle to attend, if I knew, I would have been lots of times by now, I would have taken advantage of the opportunity. My options were not made clear. I asked for a referral, thinking that I could enjoy the venue as the next step to recovery after home treatment. Unfortunately because of where my general doctor's is situated, I am not entitled to attend the venue, I have to go to the day centre at the Zinnia Centre instead. Logistically the decision completely makes sense but my feelings and well being have not been taken into account. I found a place of Zen and it deeply saddens me that I can not go back again! The decision has left me feeling angry and emotional, especially as it wasn't made clear and explained to me these last few weeks, I could have at least utilised a bit of time there. My only other complaint is that staff need to be trained up on how to sensitively yet professionally handle people with BPD. I think that the illness is completely misunderstood and therefor handled incorrectly.

If you have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, it has not been decided lightly, there is a national shortage of beds, if you have been allocated one, you definitely deserve to be there and should be treated accordingly. I was told, "People like you should not be here". That statement was an inaccurate matter of opinion. My time in hospital definitely helped me get through crisis.It's all over the internet, people with BPD, feel Ike they are dismissed and not taken seriously by mh professionals, but BPD is often not the only illness that people suffer from and if you have been allocated home treatment or admitted into a psyche ward, it is mostly because of the patient being depressed or under heavy psychosis or a danger to themselves or all of the above, therefor acute admission is beyond necessary.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Oleaster Centre

Thanks for your positive comments regarding Melissa Suite, your desire to remain with ‘The Venue’ is understandable, but unfortunately we do need to balance the demands of services across the trust. We operate training programmes around specific diagnoses and we are proud to have launched a Recovery College which dedicates time to understanding personal experience of Mental Health. The prospectus for the college will be posted on our website again soon www.bsmhft.nhs.uk

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