Talk:Henderson Campaign

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I come from a working class background with my family roots coming from Hackney in East London. They moved to a Hertfordshire “New Town” in the early 50s. For one reason or another, I left home at 16 and was homeless for much of the time until I was 18. I fell heavily into crime, drug, drink and women. Needless to say, these things need to come to a head and that they did.

Whilst 18 and after a long weekend of self abuse, I hit rock bottom and had and massive nervous breakdown. I was locked up, messed up and with very little future, at this point. Over the following 5 years, I spent 4 out of 5 years detained in one institution (asylum as they were once known) Diagnosed as Bipolar I was drugged beyond belief, to the point where one of the suits was writing a study on how it was I was still able to function and was slowly slipping into the life of a vegetable. On at least 3 occasions I tried to take my own life, while I was lucky enough to pull though it, many of the people I know didn’t.

I was very unpopular amongst most of the staff in my local hospital. I had made a official complaint against the staff because they were overdosing me on a daily bases (rich given the medication I was on). There were a full audit taken of the pharmacy stocks and sure enough my complaint was upheld. However, the audit also found that the problem was rife. Six Nurses were suspended and the charge nurse was sacked.

Now, at age 22 I was no longer welcome in my local hospital and was forced to seek help elsewhere. Then I was offered an unlikely offer of a chance to come off the medication and go to very special hospital in South London. A place that only a very select few get a chance at. I think to this day, it was compensation for the mess that my local hospital made.

The whole philosophy was based you helping you to help yourself, no drug, no shocks, no lock in rooms and you are free to leave at any point you wish. There was 24/7 support 365 days of the year. Support not from staff but from the other residents you share the building with. Group therapy and in-depth discussion into the deepest darkest parts of your lives. This helped me to understand myself and the very things that made me ill in the first place. The ability to take control of my life and find a direction the move forward in.

I am 40 now and 18 years on, this hospital very close to my heart and mind. There are not many days when I don’t call on something I leant there, even after all this time. The hospital very possibly saved my life, as well as re-shopping it.

I have a wife, 3 great kids and have only visited one mental hospital within the first year of leaving The Henderson Hospital and that I think was the shock of being able to live life without the NHS.

I have set up a forum to help support the fight to stop the closure of The Henderson Hospital

Please feel free to drop by

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