Juneathon Day 25

I watched Don’t Call Me Crazy, a documentary about adolescents in the McGuiness Unit who had varying mental health problems which either required inpatient care or came under the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Act, that is they were detained compulsorily.

Predictably, the programme was akin to the curate’s egg,  good in parts but fundamentally flawed. It brought to BBC 3  audience’s attention the treatment of seriously troubled teenagers and followed the progress of three particular girls who had an eating disorder, obsessional compulsive disorder and self harm behaviour. The staff also spoke directly to  camera and you saw brief slivers of multi disciplinary ward rounds.

Unfortunately the greater emphasis was on the dramatic or problematic behaviour of the girls rather than on the treatment programme or an intelligent overview of the therapeutic work of the unit. This criticism could also be levelled at a recent series of  documentaries on a young offenders prison. I didn’t feel that the staff came across as particularly caring or informed. There was hardly any emphasis on therapy or therapeutic groups. The focus was on symptoms and behaviour rather than treatment strategies. The ward round segments were hardly inspiring and all too brief. I would not like a family member of mine to be treated there! Again, where was the family involvement? It was mentioned that there were two trained workers [trained in what?] to five support staff each shift. The overall impression was that this was basic containment and management on the cheap. For comparison, look at the NHS facility, the Cassel  Hospital in Richmond, Surrey at £11,625 per month.

Out with Cambridge and Coleridge running club tonight. Ran around 7.7 miles in all , including hill repetitions with recovery time. Beautiful evening, particularly pleasurable running along field footpaths.

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