“As a child I was restrained, stripped and left in a room for three days,” says Clarissa, 24.
Grace, 25, says: “I was very suicidal, I didn’t see any point in living.”
Both Clarissa and Grace have borderline personality disorder and they have spent much of the last decade in and out of mental health hospitals. They are now on one of the first mental health wards to abandon practices such as restraint, seclusion and rapid tranquilisation of patients, which are used to stop those with mental illnesses from harming themselves.
They are among 12 women being treated on Springbank Ward at Fulbourn Hospital near Cambridge, using a technique called dialectical behaviour therapy.
Instead of restraint and seclusion, the staff on Springbank ward – who patients describe as ‘amazing’ – use different techniques to manage patients’ distress, including mindfulness and a type of talking therapy.
It teaches patients different ways of dealing with distressing emotions, which have previously resulted in self-harm or suicide attempts.
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