MEMORIES FROM THE PSYCHIATRIC CARE
This project exploring and tackle the role of art and design in dealing with mental health related issues.
” Arts can be employed as a powerful tool to elicit thinking and discussion (thus generating and gathering data), as well as a means to report and disseminate findings).”
I believe that we need to look and investigate more of patients experiences of the psychiatric care environment. To also support in the architecture and interior of the environment, what could be loosely called “Art Based Approach”. We have a lack of brain science as a resource in this type of work.
I believe that communicating mental health issues through art and design can be beneficial for both the people who struggle with these illnesses, as they can remember and understand that they are not alone; as well as for the healthy population, which can realize that some people have difficulties around topics that healthy people take for granted. We have come very far in the science of the brain. Today there is proof that support how much the health of our brain get effected of our surroundings. This is especially important when we talk about mental illness.
Let me give you one story of a memory, that one patient shared with me in my interviews. Also an example of what I started with asking.
Bipolar type 2, Asperger syndrome, Anorexia and PTSD-Post Traumatic Stress.
I remember one time before they thrown me down in the beltbed! I was sitting on the floor very close to the corner and the wall in my bathroom. It was the closest to safety i could find! The keeper noticed this and said with a deep voice ”You cannot sit there!”.
It started to be annoying for the keeper! That needed to sit on a chair in the bathroom instead of outside the room!
I was still sitting there and did not want to go out! I will not leave my safety! Than two big keepers came in to the bathroom, dragged me up from the floor! They dragged me and thrown me down in to the bed and belted me! The rooms where often cold with just one chair! There i laid only with the hospital clothes!
In the Swedish tv program Uppdrag Granskning she witness about physical abuse from keepers and belt beds, she wrote notes about the situations she was put in and how many times she got belted. It was 600 times in 3 years. She laid longer than in belt bed longer than is legal The parents did everything they could to highlight this further, to get their daughters human rights! None listened!
When this finally stopped she started to feel better and that is a proof on how harmful this legal bed is. How much this environment actually plays a role in her healing, her development in the rehab and the healing of her mental illness and how this affects the brain health.
We need to have this in consideration when dealing with art, design and architecture in healing psychiatric environments that is supposed to heal mentally ill people.