Ways that Professionals have Helped Me

I’ve been under mental health services for the past decade or so and, in that time, I’ve had a range of experiences – whilst some have been (very) bad, others have made a big, positive difference to my recovery.

So, I thought I’d share some of the ways that professionals have helped me…


When asked what professionals can do to help, my number one tip is simply listening. Instead of tarring everyone with a certain illness under the same brush, it’s about finding out about individuals’ experiences, and hearing what they have to say. 

This is also important when it comes to treatment – whilst, for some (including myself) medication can be life-saving, this isn’t the same for everyone. I know that there are a lot of pressures which can make it hard to speak to patients for long periods of time but, using any time you do have to truly listen to them, will likely make a big difference to their recovery.

Believing Me

I’m someone who’s described as ‘high functioning’ when it comes to depression. Over the years, I’ve become a master at masking my feelings when I’m down, with others only finding out how I truly feel after a suicide attempt. 

I once made the mistake of reading my medical notes, where a member of staff had implied I was making up being depressed, simply because I was still exercising and chatting with other patients – and it really hurt.

It shouldn’t even need to be said – but, when someone tells you they feel a certain way, please believe them. It can be hard enough asking for help without having to ‘prove’ you’re telling the truth. 

Learning my name

When it comes to hospital settings specifically, it’s easy to be treated as a room number, as opposed to an actual person. I’ve heard countless tales of people being referred to as ‘six’ or ‘eight’ – instead of their actual names.

Taking a few moments to find out a person’s name makes a big difference. Instead of learning the name at the top of their medical notes, please find out if a person has a preferred name. My actual name is Charlotte – but I’ve been known as Charlie for almost two decades. I’ve found it much easier opening up to people who use my preferred name, instead of what’s on my records.

Writing things down for me

When I went through a manic episode back in November, I found it hard to retain information. When I had my weekly reviews or had medication changes, I soon forgot what had been said.

However, there was a brilliant nurse who worked on the ward who took to writing down all the important information I needed. She even went as far as colour coding it, which massively helped.

It meant that, whenever I was confused about what was happening, I could look at the sheet sat on my bedside table that contained all the information I needed to know.

Involving my wife and family

I know that, for some, the last thing they want to do is involve others with their care. But, for me, having my wife and parents included makes a positive difference. 

When I went through a (smaller) manic episode quite recently, my psychiatrist made sure to speak to both my wife and I. My parents were out at the time and arrived back at ours just as the appointment came to an end. However, the psychiatrist went out of her way to stop and speak to them.

Knowing that everyone was on the same page meant I didn’t have to work out what to say to them, and could just focus on recovery.

However, I realise that some people would rather not have others involved – and, if that is the case, it’s something that should be respected.

Being Kind

Finally, when it comes to being mentally unwell, kindness makes a huge difference. Just saying a simple ‘hello’ and introducing yourself can make a scary situation feel a lot less terrifying.

Even if you’re unable to spend much time with a patient, being kind in the time that you do have can make the world of difference.

Note: I’ve set up a Ko-fi account so, if for whatever reason, you fancy getting me a ‘coffee’, you can do so. I’ll always keep my blogs free – and there’s absolutely zero obligation to do so (in fact, I feel pretty bad mentioning it in the first place). But, a huge thank you to everyone who’s bought me one so far – and here’s the link for anyone interested:



Hey, I'm Charlie. I'm a radio producer based in West Yorkshire. I love dogs, exercise and baking. I also have bipolar disorder and OCD. This is a place for me to share my mental health journey - the highs, the lows, and the bits in between.

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