To Someone Who’s Just Been Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital


Checking myself into a mental health unit because I was suicidal and needed to keep myself safe was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and behaviors (including self-harm) more times than I can count. Sometimes I was forced to go and sometimes I checked myself in voluntarily.

During those times in the hospital, I felt so unloved and unlovable. I hated myself and didn’t think anyone else cared about me either. Many people in my position share these thoughts, and when that feeling grows it can seem unbearable.

So, if you’ve recently been admitted to a mental health unit or a psychiatric hospital, there are a few things I want you to know as someone who’s been there:

First of all, you’re doing the right thing. I know it may feel like you’ve hit the lowest point in your life right now, but please know it takes an enormous amount of courage and bravery to admit you need help. Good for you for recognizing that and getting the help you need.

Secondly, please know you’re not alone. There are many people who’ve done what you’re doing and there will be plenty of others who need to take care of themselves in the future. Make the most out of your stay in the hospital. It might not be fun, but it can be the start to healing. Go to groups, talk with your nurses and be honest with your doctor about what treatments are working and which are not. Take advantage of your resources — both in your community and from your family and friends. They are there to help you recover.

Thirdly, please try not to let stigma get you down. It’s hard to admit you’re at a hospital for mental health reasons. Some people might make you feel bad, but don’t let that in. You’re strong and brave for getting the help you need, and it will pay off!

And lastly, if you don’t remember anything else I’ve said, please remember you are loved! I believe you were put on this Earth with a purpose. I care about you, and I know so many others care about you, too. Take that to heart and work on healing your mind and body.

No one should feel bad for taking care of themselves.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

Megan is the founder of Jogging 4 Journals. She’ll be running one 5k every month to raise money to buy journals for inpatients at her local hospital’s mental health unit. Her goal is to deliever 30 journals every month. To learn more, visit her Facebook page


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Moms With Mental Illness Share Their Stories in Intimate Photo Series

Photographer Natalie McCain first caught our attention last year when she posted a moving portrait series of moms of children with special needs as part of The Honest Body Project. Her latest installment focuses on raising awareness for mothers with mental illness. In “The True Faces of Depression: A Series to End the Stigma Against Mental Illness,” McCain’s goal is to “help [...]

What's Your 'Best Excuse' For Avoiding Mental Health Treatment?

If you are affected by mental illness, The Mighty wants to hear your response to this question: What’s one excuse you made before you sought treatment for your mental health? Send us your video response, and it might be used in a video for The Mighty! Here’s our last video, and a summary of our video [...]

'One Thing I Want Someone With a Mental Illness to Know Is...'

The Mighty teamed up with Bring Change 2 Mind and asked the question, “What’s one thing you want someone with a mental illness who’s going through a hard time to know?” Their responses were fantastic. If you live with a mental illness, here’s what our communities want you to know:

The One Word I’m Replacing ‘Resolutions’ With This New Year

The New Year has only just begun, and I have already witnessed people’s determination to “do right” by their resolutions for 2016 — gym memberships are skyrocketing and it has never been so crowded, restaurant goers are waiving dessert and choosing salad over steak, parents stating they will show more patience toward their toddlers, couples vowing to spend more time together rather [...]