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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

"For 35 years I have been admitted many times to psychiatric wards - and general medical wards following suicide attempts - without receiving cards, flowers, grapes or, sometimes, even visitors. When I had to have a mastectomy, I received large bouquets, cards, presents and visitors. People commented on how brave I was. No-one has ever told me how brave I am to endure all these years of mental ill-health." 

Sally, member of the College's Service User Recovery Forum and someone who suffers from enduring mental health problems

"I first experienced mental ill health whilst I was studying at University. My friends and family did not know what to do, or how to react, so they did nothing. Some time later, when I went into hospital for a relatively minor operation, I received lots of visitors with cards, fruit, chocolates and enough Lucozade to sink a ship. It is such a shame that friends and family usually know how to respond if you are physically ill, and yet find it so difficult when you are mentally unwell . When you are ill you can often feel quite isolated, and knowing that people who care for you are thinking of you would have really helped my recovery."

Thomas, service user