‘Same As Any Other Day’ by Vic

First Christmas in psychiatric hospital.

We signed in and we told we have one hour to visit due to other parents also booking in and staffing levels being quite low.

The visitors room it’s freezing cold and a staff member sits at the door at all times with the door open. We are taking a huge bag of presents and cards all carefully chosen to comply with Ward rules.

As we leave it I am overwhelmed with sadness. She stands in the window waving goodbye to us. They won’t let her home at all,  the risk is too great , yet they discharged her just five weeks after this.

We go home to an empty house with no tree. Christmas isn’t welcome in our home this year. We head to a friend’s for a bite to eat and my mobile rings she’s on her way to A&E she’s eaten one of her Christmas presents and it wasn’t edible. They are dealing with it we don’t need to go.

Christmas on a psychiatric unit is the worst. Loads of familiar staff are away and locums are in and bank staff. They refused to let her go outside for days over Christmas due to low staffing levels or it was too rainy or it was too cold. They stuffed her full of sedatives and vitamin D tablets instead.

Paper chains are allowed and a basic Christmas tree but Christmas tree decorations are generally unsafe..

Many of the patients have gone home so its Christmas Dinner and loads of films ( same as any other day ) and then some card games and maybe the wii fit.