When I first arrived on the medium secure unit at St Andrew’s I was scared as I was around patients I was not used to. It was my doctor that made the difference for me. He gave me respect. It was the way he talked to me, the way he connected to me and was caring. Staff did things like turn the TV over when you were watching it. When I became a patient rep it made a difference because I could raise issues.
I am now on a low secure ward – what helped my recovery and moving to low secure was that new staff came onto my ward. New staff made a difference and the patients changed – we did not have the really unwell patients, and there was no fighting, so the ward became settled. The staff got you out, got you to your groups, cooked with you.
I got my food hygiene certificates and cooked for everyone, staff and patients. Then patients who didn’t like me got to like me. I am now a patient rep – I support other patients.
I have a lot more freedom now I am with more settled patients. I am with my friends. To help me recover I need groups where I can use my brain. I want to work with the St Andrew's Patient Experience team. I would love to work with patients in the community, help stop them getting into difficulties, help them with their care plans and use my experience.