My experiences as a mental health service user helped me to set up and run a suicide crisis centre

A feeling of powerlessness dominated my experience of mental health services. And this feeling was at its worst when I was sectioned. Sectioning replicated aspects of the traumatic experience that initially caused my suicidal crisis. I felt trapped, captive and utterly out of control. I couldn’t escape. .

The limited control I had over my interactions with mental health professionals also had a negative impact on me. In the psychiatrist-patient relationship, the power lies with the psychiatrist. And in the community, mental health teams decided how often I would be seen, what kind of care I would receive and when the care would end. Each of these things made me feel vulnerable.

Related: After my suicide crisis I set up a centre to give others a safety net | Joy Hibbins

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".