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New film to make hospital admission easier

A special film designed to reassure young people with complex mental health needs who are preparing for admission into hospital has been launched by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

Called “Welcome to 5 Airey”, the film has been created to help explain to young people what to expect when they are admitted to the specialist unit in Oulton for care while also helping dispel any fears they may have. It features interviews with patients, parents and staff, as well as an insight into the assessments they may receive and the activities which take place at the unit, which include education as well as group sessions and social outings.

It is available on NSFT’s dedicated website for youth services, which can be found at It has been supported by two informative blogs – one written by a former patient and another by a member of staff – which give a further insight and a personal perspective on what to expect.

In her blog, the patient writes: “There’s no simple way to explain the journey at number 5 Airey Close. But trust me, it’s worth it.

“Through time, you build relationships with the staff, who are absolutely incredible and you start to work as a team to progress in recovery. It isn’t easy at all….You’ll have your good and bad days here, but there’s always support around you.

“Even though it will be draining, towards your discharge, you’ll feel that dark cloud over your head shrink.

“After being at 5 Airey Close, I went from being a girl who hoped to never see daylight again to a girl who is proud of who she is and knows that emotions pass and life is too short to waste on self-destruction and suicidal thoughts.

“I promise that it will be a struggle, but it will be the most rewarding struggle of all.”

The unit offers inpatient care to girls aged between 12 and 18 who are at risk of causing harm to themselves or others as a result of mental health problems. This can be due to a wide range of conditions, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders or autistic spectrum disorder with self-harming behaviour.

Every patient is given a comprehensive therapeutic assessment so that staff at the unit can fully understand their needs before a treatment plan is drawn up.

The unit can care for seven patients at any one time, with some staying for just a few days to support them through a time of crisis and others needing longer admissions. It has been designed to offer a homely environment, and includes a lounge and garden for the patients to socialise in, as well as individual bedrooms.

Elaine Sullivan, Psychotherapist at Airey Close, said: “Many young people may not know what to expect when they go into hospital. It may be their first time away from home, and they may have misconceptions or fears about what may happen to them. All of this can make their admission more difficult for both them and their family.

“We have put together this film and the blogs to help reassure them and give them a valuable insight into what to expect. Hopefully they will see that there is quite a lot of laughter and also a lot of hope.

“We would encourage anyone who has been referred to the unit, or feels they may benefit from the care we offer, to take a few minutes to watch the film, read the blogs and find out more about what life is really like in our specialist unit.”

To watch the video or read the blogs, visit  ​