Life Story: Suzanna's Story

Suzanna was brought into hospital against her wishes; she was frightened, insecure and anxious about being in a psychiatric hospital.

Our advocate helped Suzanna to find out what her rights were regarding her treatment and to take control of the process.

Suzanna hadn’t realised that she had rights when she was initially brought into hospital.

This support helped Suzanna to feel less threatened and to bring her stress levels down. The advocate worked with Suzanna to help her see how her treatment was progressing and to exercise choice about what was happening to her.

Suzanna began to feel more supported on her journey and she grew in confidence. She learned to organise her thinking and was able to highlight points and questions she wanted to raise with staff to ensure she had better quality information regarding her medication.

In this case the advocate played a bridge-building role between Suzanna and the medical staff, modelling the concept of advocacy and, in effect, teaching her to advocate for herself. Ben, the advocate, was able to demonstrate to Suzanna that she could get involved in decisions regarding her care and treatment, and that she could express her own opinions.

Eventually, Suzanna told her advocate that she felt able to attend meetings and represent herself in the hospital. She was grateful for the assistance she had received and said that it had been better for her to be involved at the start of her treatment rather than remain uninvolved and powerless.

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