07 January 2019

7th January 2009 - Mental Health Care Changes

From 7th January 2009 Radio 4 started five weekly programme called State of Mind. In it Claudia Hammond explored how the treatment and understanding of mental illness had changed over the past 50 years, with the help of Radio 4 listeners who responded to an appeal for testimonies.

One example from programme 1 was Moyna who attended Netherne Hospital, Surrey, on and off from 1960 until March 1995 when Netherne Hospital closed. She then was looked after in a smaller unit as part of "Care in the Community" . She says "Instead of the enormous Hospital we would all be in community homes and group homes. The acutely ill would go into Capel Ward at the East Surrey Hospital... I feel that Care in Community really works for me." She had a far richer life after 1995 with more activities and independence.

She begins however ... "I first went to Netherne Hospital on 1st May 1960. I was sixteen at the time, going on seventeen. I had left school less than two years before, at the age of fifteen. I found it difficult to keep my jobs. I had had jobs but I soon lost. Someone suggested to my parents that some psychiatric treatment might be of help to me. 

 First I saw Dr Freudenberg as an out-patient of Redhill General. Then after that I was admitted to Netherne. 

 First I was on the ward in the Main Building, afterwards known as Clive but then known as F6. It was usually known as Sixes. It was the Female Admission. My Mum and Dad brought me in. I was got into my nightclothes and put into bed, although it was only eleven-o'clock in the morning. Then Mum and Dad came and said good-bye to me. After this I was examined by a young doctor, Dr Galway. After this a ward-orderly brought me some lunch. There were about forty or fifty women on this ward. It was strange for me to be alone among all these strange people, as I had never really been away from home before ... "

The 5 programmes are available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gd5ws/episodes/player . Thankyou the BBC for this date.

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