Kindness week inspires MWI patient
Big-hearted staff at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute were yesterday praised by a patient inspired by a call to keep sharing kindness in the wake of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said nurses at MWI made Mother’s Day gifts for her to boost her spirits while she was treated in the hospital after a breakdown.
The woman added: “I suffer from depression and bipolar and I think it’s the pandemic that set it off.”
She was speaking after Kim Wilson, the health minister, asked the public to carry forward the kindness theme from Mental Health Awareness Week after the commemoration finished earlier this month.
The woman, who said she had never had inpatient treatment at a mental health institution before, checked into MWI in May after fears for the survival of her business and the stress of Covid-19 worsened condition and propelled her into “a total breakdown”.
She said she became suicidal and had avoided taking medication after she tried to keep her mind occupied with online learning when her business was forced to close and she, along with her family, had to stay at home over the months-long lockdown period.
The woman added: “I just broke down. I called my doctor, and I was told to drive to MWI. They were expecting me when I got there.
“The reason I’m doing this is because they don’t get enough credit for what they do. Every single staff member was amazing. They were my angels. You do not feel isolated. You feel safe.”
She said she was back on track with her medication after two two-week stays and had once a week group chats and visits to the hospital to speak to a psychologist.
She added: “I have a case worker who calls me up to see how I’m doing.
“They are teaching me a lot of skills and giving me homework to go through. I have a crisis box with things like candles, photographs of my family, an iPod, and a motto that says ’never, never, never give up’. These are my lifelines.”
She said the hospital made sure she got the right food and played music to lift her mood and also gave her flowers during her stay.
The woman added art classes and breathing exercises helped her to manage her symptoms, and that she “came away with a whole different perspective”.
She said she had also met fellow patients outside the hospital, including some who might have been homeless.
The woman added she had “a different understanding of them – I appreciate their circumstances”.
She said: “The staff got me on the right track and they’re there for me even now. They honestly, really care about people.”
She added she hoped her story would help others struggled with mental health problems to seek help.
The woman said she had also been inspired to speak out by the reaction she got after she expressed her gratitude to staff.