Case Studies of Service Users at Ballington House Women's Mental Health Hospital
Residents at Ballington House Women's Mental Health Hospital, Michelle, Jess and Sarah, share their experiences of being a service user and their journeys to recovery.
My Experience - Michelle*, Ballington House
"The staff here are brilliant and they have really helped me, you can talk to them or have fun and play games with them. I’ve got my own apartment which is really nice. There are some apartments here that you can share with someone else but I prefer to have my own.
I love cooking and my favourite things to cook are lasagne and noodles. Mandy the Manager here is encouraging me to cook more often on my own to help me be more independent. At the moment I am cooking 3 times a week on my own but I’m aiming to build this up more over time.
I’m feeling much more positive than I was when I first came here and the staff have helped to support me and give me more confidence. I feel better about my-self now and I’m trying to lose weight which is also making me feel happier. I go to a Zumba class every week at the local leisure centre- it’s really good fun!
I’ve got a family wedding to look forward to in the summer and I’m going to get a new outfit to go in. I’m planning on going into Hanley with the staff here to go shopping for a new dress.
My next goal is to get a voluntary job and then to go to college so that I can go on a course which will help me to eventually get a job as a carer, which is something I would really like to do.
In the future I would like to have my own apartment and live with my fiancé, but I need to take small steps to help me get there but it’s good to have something to aim for."
My Experience - Jess*, Ballington House
“I have been staying at Ballington House for about 1 and a half years and I’m due to leave here within the next few days to move into flat but still with support that will help me to be even more independent but with the reassurance that someone is there to support me if I need it.
When I first came to Ballington House I was really quiet and kept myself to myself. I had issues with self-harming and substance abuse but the staff here are really good and they’ve helped me to get back on the right track. With their support I have been able to build up my independence and my confidence and take part in different activities here that have helped me get to where I am today.
I have had my own studio apartment here at Ballington and have enjoyed my time here- it’s not like other hospitals I have stayed at because I have been able to buy my own food and cook my own meals which has really helped me.. I have also been able to see my family and friends regularly and I use public transport such as buses and trains when I go to visit them. I also visit the library to borrow DVD’s and books and to use the Internet Café and also go shopping into Stoke too.
The staff at Ballington House have also been really supportive when I decided to volunteer at a local charity shop where I have been working for the past 6 months. At the charity shop I have been doing lots of different things such as pricing stock, steam cleaning the clothes and working behind the till. I really enjoy working at the charity shop and go there twice a week.
I’m looking forward to being able to move out of Ballington into my own flat and be more independent. Things are all looking good for me now.”
My Experience - Sarah*, Ballington House
"I moved to Ballington House from a local CAMHS service where I had been for over a year. That was a bigger unit and there were boys and girls there. Here it is just girls which is good.It feels safe.
I really like the flats here. It means there is more space and it is less crowded. You can be yourself here and I can be more independent. I share with one other girl and we take it in turns to clean, cook and wash up. I have staff with me in my flat and I like talking to them about things. You can talk whenever you want and it makes it more relaxed. I don’t feel under pressure here.
I am able to do things I like at Ballington, shopping in Leek, buying clothes, going to the leisure centre for swimming and pilates. I would like to have a pet here but I’ve been told that isn’t possible, however, I am going to go to college to work with animals. I’d like to be a vet.
When I leave here I’d like to go into a flat but I think I’ll still need some support. I’d like a nurse to be able to visit me to carry on the work I’m doing here. I am very happy here, and so is my social worker because I’m doing so well."
*names have been changed to protect identity
To discuss this women-only mental health hospital service in more detail, arrange a visit or make a referral please contact:
Janine Strange, Key Relationships Manager | Tel: 0800 954 2497
Address: Ballington House Hospital, Ballington Gardens, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 5LW - MAP
Tel: 01538 399796
Mandy Leadbetter, Hospital Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org