How Mollie got back on her feet with Rethink Mental Illness
After living with an undiagnosed mental illness as a child she later discovered she had schizophrenia and was detained under the Mental Health Act. In July 2014, Mollie met with us and we found her some supported housing, later we helped her through her treatment before eventually helping her to get her own place last year. We're proud to know Mollie and to have worked with her. This is her story
I was 13 when I realised things weren’t going too well. I started to hear voices, I was anxious, I withdrew from friends and family and I began to feel that life wasn’t worth living. I struggled through my GCSEs and got good results despite what was going on in my head. It was in November 2011, at the young age of 16, when I was first sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
I was detained in an adolescent psychiatric hospital where I stayed for 16 months. During that time I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I refused all medication, which the doctors believed I needed, so I was forcibly restrained and given an antipsychotic depot injection. This slowly began to reduce my symptoms, however, I had to be taken off the medication because it affected my white blood cells, making me dangerously prone to infections. This caused a rapid deterioration and I ended up being nursed alone in the high dependency area, where I spent the last six months of my time in that hospital.
March 2013 I was moved from the acute adolescent hospital to a PICU (psychiatric intensive care unit), far from home. There I stayed for another five months, where I began to accept medication and stabilised, and was finally discharged home.
Unfortunately after three months at home, in November 2013 I became unwell again, and was detained for the next nine months in an acute adult hospital, my first adult admission. I was ready for discharge in July 2014, this is where Rethink Mental Illness became involved. I had an assessment with the manager, the staff, my care coordinator and my family, and in August 2014 I was accepted into a Rethink Mental Illness flat in my hometown. I was overjoyed.
The staff at Rethink Mental Illness guided me through the next 3 years and a number of further psychiatric admissions. They taught me skills to live independently, assisted me with anything I found difficult, and gave me emotional support in abundance. I cannot fault the care I received in my time with Rethink Mental Illness.
After those 3 years, it was time for me to move-on. Rethink Mental Illness staff supported me to use home-finder to find a new flat that was suitable for my needs and in September 2017 I moved into my own independent flat.
To this day I still receive outreach support from Rethink Mental Illness, which I find extremely useful and beneficial. Since my first hospital admission all that time ago, I’ve spent a total of 45 months in six different psychiatric hospitals, I was there for my 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th birthdays and three Christmases as well. It hasn’t all been bad - I’ve met some truly wonderful people and I’ve learnt a lot about myself. But the main thing I’m thankful for is that I was given the opportunity to live in a Rethink Mental Illness supported flat. If that hadn’t have happened, I would probably still be stuck in hospital, or perhaps even be deceased.
It has been a very long journey, and I’ve still got a way to go, but with all the support I’ve received and continue to receive from Rethink Mental Illness, I know I will succeed in anything I set my mind to. And if I can get there, anyone can.