- 1 Part One – A brief before and after being put on a Section 2
- 2 Part Two – one month at Kent And Medway adolescence hospital
- 3 Part Three – How I Got Out Of Kent And Medway Adolescence Hospital And Off My Section
- 3.1 How did I end up at Kent and Medway Adolescent Hospital Woodland House?
- 3.2 Therapy Sessions With Dr Oliver Continued.
- 3.3 How Did pen and paper become a therapy for you?
- 3.4 How Did The Professional Meeting go? – what was the outcome?
- 3.5 I tried to get out of Kent And Medway Mental Health Hospital!
- 5 Discharge Papers Are In.
Part One – A brief before and after being put on a Section 2
I struggled with many issues at the time, anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, and self-harm. I had been battling a battle in my head for over ten years, but things started to get too bad. now I could not hide these issues as well as I may have been before. Moreover, after the incident(s) at school, I was admitted to the hospital and blacklisted from taking my exams in the future.
Can you imagine walking into your Psychiatrists office? After a massive string of events both at school and at home? Dr. Bertrand Nairac was giving me 5 minutes to make one of the hardest. And most confusing decisions of my life. “By the time I return to this room, you need to make your decision. Are you going to admit yourself on a volunteer basis or send the doctors and police to force you there?
As I sat in the therapist‘s room, it felt like an eternity. The walls seemed to close on me, and my heart was racing. What is a mental health hospital anyway? Is this some asylum where they lock up people who are crazy or something? The feeling of suffocation and confusion were the only thoughts going through my head. Dr. Bertrand Nairac Returned to the office. Moreover, I looked at myself and my foster carer Carol Thompson. “Well, you made up your mind,” said Dr. Nairac.
He advised once again that going as a volunteer patient was the best way to do this. Unless I wanted to make a big scene. I agreed and waited for days in my home until I received word from him with an available bed at a young adolescent Mental Health Hospital Woodlands house in staple Hurst
My Fate Was Clear
Three days went past, and it was hell. I knew it was just a matter of days until I am driving miles away. From my hometown, there are a few parts of those three days that stick with me.
I had missed school and was not recommended to communicate with them, so I remember telling a tiny handful of friends about the situation with mixed responses. Furthermore, I was spending the weekend with my mum. Wondering what would happen what my future was going to be like?
Nevertheless, the worst thing… it was the last night before I left., to Kent, and Medway Adolescent Unit, Woodland House. Moreover, Carol had ordered fish and chips. We were all gathered together, eating as a family like we always did on a Friday night. I was unsure if this was the last meal, with the people who raised me into the person I am. The people who supported me through the worst…., I could not hold back the emotions and the tears started pouring out. There was nothing I could do but let the future unfold.
No surprise, but I did not sleep very well that night. In less than 24 hours, I would once again move away from the home I had settled into and this time into a downright bizarre and unknown situation.
Getting admitted to Hospital
Morning finally came round, and my anxiety and mood were not good at all. I remember being very silent and reserved, waiting to determine my fate after dropping off the other Foster Children at school. We started the long and painful drive to Staplehurst. (Around an hour and 20min, but it felt like a lot longer.) Stopping off to pick up Tomo (Carol‘s Husband, Whom We Referred to as Tomo or John (His real name) from his workplace.
We finally arrived at Woodlands House (For anyone interested, For A Virtual Tour). As we walked in, the receptiongreeted us. It was an attractive layout. Not reasonably what I had expected, certainly not for being classified a hospital. Moreover, we approached the desk and handed over the paperwork,waiting for the team leader to arrive and assess me.
After what felt like a lifetime and what seemed to be a crisis, (Someone‘s Panic alarm within the hospital was set off, and someone got restrained. not too long before I walked in.) We finally had a quick look round and were shown in one of the meeting rooms.
The team leader and one of the nurses told me, Carol, and John, what would happen, and I have to fill in some paperwork. These were questions asking me to state out of 1-10 or how likely, or unlike me; I remember they were all ranked low at this point; I felt I could not feel any worse. I completed it, and I led to the medical room (where anything on-site medical–wise was given). Then I was given an ECG test and had my blood taken. It was a very formal process. Also, they made notes of doctors, medication, and allergies.
Furthermore, that is when we parted way. I said goodbye to my foster parents, and I was left to socialize with staff and patients
Part Two – one month at Kent And Medway adolescence hospital
By the time I was checked into the Kent and Medway Adolescent Unit, Woodland House, and the careers left me. The day had already gone. It was around 17:00, and I was given options for food. The first place I went was the lounge. Many very friendly and reassuring service users and staff started to introduce themselves to me. They were warm and gentle with their words. They could see I was very reserved and did not want to talk or do anything. I am sure every one of them had gone through the same thing. It is scary, after all. New surroundings, new faces, and new scenarios. No one can know what you have just walked into.
The First Night
After eating what I was shocked to say a delicious meal, I remember spending some time once again in the lounge for the evening before it was time for us to go to bed. As much as I wanted to crawl straight into bed, we had to follow strict guidelines. Everyone had to be awake, and out of bed by 10 am, and no one can return until 7 pm. My bedroom was lovely, it had a double bed, a desk and an ensuite but, it still was not my bed from home. I also missed my phone, my technology, and the familiar faces from my foster home.
My Daily Routine was very different from what I was doing back home. Breakfast between 7 am, and 9 am. Everyone had to be out of bed by 10 am. We had a few group sessions in the morning, one being education lunch between 12 and 1 pm—three more activities before dinner between 5 pm and 6 pm, and then free time.
Accessing the outside world
I was not allowed any technology on–site, and the only time I could use my phone or the internet was when I was on my mobile phone outside of the unit. Even in the education sessions, I was given special restrictions due to past incidents with my secondary school and me hacking into their system. So, for this reason, I was only allowed the internet on my mobile outside of the unit. (for someone who previously lived online, it sucks!)
Getting Put onto a Section 2 Under The Mental Health Act
I was both homesick and just witnessed a small group of patients kick off and cause a riot. (Insert Link to Future Post) I was not enjoying my stay at Woodlands House, the therapy seemed unhelpful, and the group sessions I refused. To make things worse, I was just put onto 1:1 Eyesight, so I declared to discharge myself. And I was served a Section 2, meaning I was now forcefully detained for 28 days. Moreover, now I could not even use the internet in my free time. I was a prisoner of the system, scared and upset. This just further pushed me away from getting my issues solved.
Being in section 2 meant I lost most of my rights. I was no longer allowed to use my phone. Many care decisions were now being made for me without my input; I was placed on 1:1 Eyesight as a precautionary measure. They were still unsure of many things that were going on with me, due to 4 years prior trying to fight the system, because I was too scared to let them know “The Thing” that caused me all this trauma and pain.
Thankfully I had lots of like–minded people who shared their advise and looked out for each other. 1:1 Eyesight meant I now had someone follow me and was always within Eyesight, even when sleeping. Nevertheless, there was a limitation to the toilet/shower, as long as I kept talking to them non-stop.
First Visit From my foster family
When I knew Carol and Tomo were coming, I was excited. I could not wait to see the familiar faces and receive some more clothes and items to keep me going. I had missed the presence of Carol and John. It had only been a month. However, they encouraged me to carry on with the treatment, and soon I will be home again, getting back on with life. They were very encouraging and motivating, but, I could tell it was hard for them and myself.
First Vist From Mum and my brother Michael
This visit was long overdue. They had a very long train journey all the way from Margate to Staplehurst, but, I was so happy to see them both. We spoke for ages and caught up. The first time seeing them, I was not able to do much being on section 2 But, I was just relived to be in the company of my family.
But I want care in the community!
This was something many people heard me say. Additionally, it all came with the same response “But we have been offering you this for years, why now?” it was a good question. However, the shock of being in the hospital was enough for me to want to get my life on track, and continue with my life and education in the community. Nevertheless, all the professionals had said the same thing. You will not be released until you start co-operating with group sessions and therapy.
Therapy sessions, we all hate them. They hurt and make us vulnerable. Something was stopping me from talking in person with anyone willing to help me. I could speak about everything, apart from “the thing”. I spoke about family, school, emotional unbalances, depression and anxieties. However, in-depth details into self-harm I locked away from everyone. Including myself,
After a few sessions, I was told by Dr. Oliver that my only chance of release was to talk about these areas and let them understand and advice for future treatment/help outside of the hospital. Furthermore, I explained, although I want to talk, whenever I try, I freeze up. I get scared, vulnerable. This is when for the first time, I was recommended the following technique:
“When you are in a bad place, take a pen and paper, write your thoughts and feelings, Furthermore, bring them back to me.” Moreover, when this worked, I was then tasked to do the same, but to write about “the thing…” so I set out to do this….. To Be Continued.
Thanks for sticking by and reading through this story, it has been a hard one to write, but the story is as it is… and the next part will be the conclusion to my stay at a mental health hospital. have you read some of my other posts?
- The Story Of My Spice Addiction
- The incident at school that led to my hospitalization.
- Addicted to drugs and then Homeless and finally Now I’m A Homeowner
Part Three – How I Got Out Of Kent And Medway Adolescence Hospital And Off My Section
How did I end up at Kent and Medway Adolescent Hospital Woodland House?a photo of Li Jean-Luc Harris at Kent and Medway Adolescent Unit, Woodland House Mental Health Hospital
If you’re asking this question, then you’re new to the blog! this is a platform of therapy first discovered by me in hospital and will be discussed later on in the blog post. But before you get there. I highly suggest you read the following posts to get yourself acquainted with me. And so you know the full story of how I ended up at Kent Afnd Medway Adolescent Hospital (Woodlands House)
- The Incidents at School That Lead to my hospitalisation at Kent And Medway Mental Health Hospital
- Explore The Days Leading Up to me transferring from Foster Care To My Placement at Kent And Medway Adolescent Hospital
- How I become homeless aged 18 and addicted to drugs.
Now Your acquainted with the past. Let’s dive into the next chapter of the story. This is going to be quite a long post so grab yourself a coffee. And prepare for a rollercoaster of a story.
Therapy Sessions With Dr Oliver Continued.
As previously explained, Oliver had just handed me over a piece of paper and a pen. Let’s try something different. Take these and write everything that you’re scared to tell. Or struggle to face. In Face to Face Scenarios. I sat and thought about it but told Dr Oliver I will try it. And that I did. I remember going to the communal areas, finding somewhere quiet, and I sat there thinking of what I could write. How do I explain it? Or if I should even try. But I did, only because I was getting desperate to get out of this place. I Started with the events leading to the situation so the psychologists Dr Oliver could get an idea of my state of mind. And then I told him about the events leading to the biggest self-harm incident that I had done. And the one that is a continuing issue even right now almost 10 years later. I keep promising you the story on “The Thing” which is this event of self-harm, but I’m still closing this chapter and will create that blog post shortly.
Once i finished the agonizing reliving of my life. I posted it in his office. (On Site) and I heard nothing for a day. Until I was told I had to attend a meeting with Dr Oliver And a Medical Professional.
How Did pen and paper become a therapy for you?
Now I knew I could speak out and voice my concerns without facing them directly and at the moment. Allowing me more time to prepare myself for the outcome. And think of responses. So after realising the power of it. I’ve used it as a platform for communicating my emotions for a while until I stood up in 2017 and launched the blog to make it public. From then on, your support has allowed me to help others and realise. That my realistic goal and aim in life is to help as many people as possible whom have had a poor start in their lives.
How Did The Professional Meeting go? – what was the outcome?
Actually, I don’t know what happened prior. The Professionals would not allow me to the discussion part of the meeting and could only attend to the outcome part of the meeting, but from what I could see, it was not the best of news for me. I was told of the damage I had caused. I was told I was lucky to survive. Or didn’t have other complications, and they referred me to Maidstone Hospital For a medical examination, but I’m not yet aware I’m about to become lost in the system. I discovered later this later on in life.
I tried to get out of Kent And Medway Mental Health Hospital!
I’ve co-operated let me out! I’ve done as you’ve said, so why am I still being punished? But they set the reality. Even though after 2 months I cooperated and allowed for myself to be checked over. I still can not leave. No matter how persistent I was and then I ended up on a section 3. as guess who tried to discharge themself again.
Getting Put onto a Section 3 Under The Mental Health Act
Because I wanted to leave again, they placed me on a Section 3 of the mental health act. Section 3 allows for a person to be admitted to hospital for treatment if their mental disorder is of a nature and/or degree that requires treatment in hospital. And Whilst detained under Section 3, you do not have the right to refuse treatment apart from electro-convulsive treatment (ECT) which can only be given without your consent if specific criteria are met. This was because at the time they could not release me as I was still at risk and at the time they created no treatment plans. And the lead clinician was still trying to get my care sorted out back in the community.
The End of my Foster Placement With Carol And JohnPhoto of Li Jean-Luc Harris photo taken at woodland house Kent And Medway Mental Health Hospital!
I’ve written two posts about carol and John already. They are a massive inspiration to me wanting to work in residential child care. As well as fostering in the future. If you want to read more about their effects on my lives, you can use the following links:
- My Second Foster Care Placement With Carol And John
- The Breakdown Of My Second Foster Care Placement
But as we know, all good things end. And I had just found out that my foster carers had to end the placement and that when i was discharged I could no longer return to this Foster placement. Sadly, this is the way social services work. As they deemed me of higher risk at this point. And that Carol And John were no longer suitable placements. This broke my heart and now meant that I would move to complete strangers again and have to build new relationships with another foster parent… (Unknown to me at the time that i no longer could go into a foster care placement…)
Discharge Papers Are In.
The Big Day. I was given the discharge papers. In two weeks, I would be allowed out in the community and to get my freedom back! I was so excited about moving and being able to see my family but still not to my knowledge I’ve got a roller coaster to attend for the next 3 Years experiencing many 16+ Services that the wonderful Kent County Council (KCC) Social Services Had to show me. But right now i was more excited to get back to some normality. And resume with my life goals at the time.
What is Next For Li Jean-Luc Harris?
Hi Everyone, what a productive couple of weeks. Both professionally and in my personal life. We’ve completed the Kent And Medway Mental Health Hospital Series. but this is not the end of the Blog posts in the Mental Health category. Next in Li’s Story; we will talk about his other placements within Social Services. I had 4 more placements and then became homeless. I was ripped away from my foster carers, lost my rights and then told i would return to a completely new situation in life. Including Children’s Homes And 16+ Transitioning Care / Semi-Independence Placements and how I spent two years in areas that I’ve never been too before.
How about Jump The Gaps and find out some of my future?
- Addicted to drugs and then Homeless and finally Now I’m A Homeowner
- Spice / Legal High Addiction the Story (1/2)
Thanks once again for your time and dedication to my blog. And life. See you in the next one.