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friend sectioned, how to help?

(11 Posts)
innermuddle Tue 09-Apr-13 22:14:27

A family friend has been sectioned. She is schizophrenic. I know she is in the best place.
I want to help her or at least let her know I'm thinking of her. I am 200 miles away so cannot visit. I told her mum i was thinking if sending domething. Her mum suggested I buy some clothes, t shirts undies etc. I think this is fine, but impersonal. Would it be better to also send a card, or flowes, or just follow her mum's advice? Anything else you might suggest?

NanaNina Tue 09-Apr-13 23:12:40

Maybe your friend's mom knows that she is short of clothes, but I agree it is a bit impersonal. I have been an inpatient (not sectioned) on 2 occasions, each time involving a 3 month stay. The thing is on a psych ward it is very boring and the day is very long. Your friend may be sleepy as they are no doubt increasing her meds, and this often causes drowsiness in people with a psychotic illness.

I would certainly send a card and some flowers would be nice, nothing too big as hospitals don't have very large vases! Maybe later on you could send her books (if you know her taste and if she has the concentration to read) or magazines, even jigsaws. Usually there is an OT who helps to pass the time away but there is someone else I am talking to on MN who has just been sectioned and she says they don't have an OT - the post is advertised. She is trying to do jigsaws but doesn't have much concentration and needs to keep napping.

Perhaps the best thing would be to send something little and often, a card every week or so, and some nice soap, or perfume. You know your friend so will know her taste. I think the important thing is to stay in touch. The personI am talking to has an iphone so can send short messages, but at least it's a way off keeping in touch.

innermuddle Tue 09-Apr-13 23:49:13

Thank you, that is really helpful. I will try to send little things often. Maybe chocs too?

SirBoobAlot Tue 09-Apr-13 23:53:20

Agree with Nina, once you're either medicated or a bit more balanced, the psych ward is DULL.

I was sent some paint by numbers kits that kept me occupied nicely, along with suduko.

And little things you think will make her smile.

Hope she is back on a level soon.

Fluffydressinggown Wed 10-Apr-13 00:32:14

I am sectioned at the moment and I love parcels! Just sending a card would be nice. My Mum has sent me clothes but I don't know how I would feel about friends sending me them. Hmm.

I like puzzlebooks, colouring in books, felt tips to colour in with, magazines, jigsaws, watching dvds. I have also done cross stitch on previous admissions.

It can be boring so little things do make a difference. You sound like a lovely friend x

innermuddle Wed 10-Apr-13 05:13:33

Thank you all, I will buy some bits and pop them in the post today. Hope things are improving for you fluffy.

NanaNina Wed 10-Apr-13 18:38:27

Hi FDG how are you doing? Glad you are managing to distract yourself or make the time pass with your pastimes. I did knitting in my first admission and got half the ward knitting squares! Are the meds stabilising you - hope so.

NanaNina Wed 10-Apr-13 18:40:52

Oh and yes chocolates would be great innermuddle so long as they don't get nicked by other patients/staff!!

innermuddle Thu 11-Apr-13 09:15:03

Nananina, I sent a parcel yesterday with art materials, soduko books, crossword books, and lots of snacks. Now hoping they get to her not staff! I plan to send something every week.
Does anyone know if I can call the ward to speak to her, or should I wait for her to contact me? She never has credit on her phone, if she even has it in there, so may find it difficult to call me. But I want time give her space if that is what she needs. Any thoughts on this? I really have no clue!

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 11-Apr-13 09:29:58

Even in these days of mobiles, there is likely to be a public, ordinary, phone on the ward. Ring the hospital, they'll tell you.

Fluffydressinggown Thu 11-Apr-13 13:50:39

You can ring the ward, there is usually a patient's phone.

You sound like a lovely friend smile

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