I’ve previously posted about the benefits of writing my own Mental Health Plan.

You can find the post here. I talked in part about frustration of having to repeat my story to every new professional. I also have trouble speaking and a faulty memory when overwhealmed.

Today I’ll write about challenges around writing and having my Mental Health Plan.

During the writing and revision stage, I referenced content guidelines found on the health.gov.au website. You can view them here.

Continuing to work on it

I had to pick a few bullet points at a time to write about. On the first version I disregarded about half of the bullet points.

I knew that I couldn’t write on those topics for various reasons – at the time. I was content to leave them be for now, and revise it at a later date.

Being Over It

There are parts that I skimmed while making revisions. I’ve kept them because I tried to write as objectively as possible. I imagined myself as a phsychiatrist writing a report about a patient.

They may have to be rewritten in the future, but for now I am quite happy with what I’ve got written down.

Few actual plans

Being in survival mode, I only had a few things written for my future. They came from my daily To Do list.

What I did write was a very basic crisis management plan. It was warning signs for myself and my sister, as well as a letter to my sister in case I brought myself to hospital one day.

I had to be content with what information was there and knowing that I’d one day research Relapse Prevention Plans.

Fighting for it

I’ve had to act very determined to get the revised version put on my GPs records.

I had to be one sided in thought while my body was quailing inside.

In the end she went through it in front of me. She also kept it to get scanned into my file later.

Feeling my writing was in vain

At times I had to deal with feeling that my doctors weren’t taking my writing efforts and issues seriously.

In sessions with my mental health team I mostly felt that I had a safety-net. I knew that if I ever had trouble explaining myself, I could direct them to an appropriate part of it.

There were times however when I had the distinct feeling that no one had read it.

Thankfully they have since referenced the document in front of me. To quote from my previous post:

My mental health team referencing parts of the document by speech and flipping pages to find passages was affirming. I felt in those moments that they were taking my issues seriously.

Now that i’ve had enough feedback about it, over time, the plan is a source of confidence. Confidence if I don’t explain something accurately and confidence in myself as a hard worker.

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Overall I am very glad that I took the time to write out my own Mental Health Plan. It has been a safeguard in appointments.

Having to search my memory for every answer was something I didn’t have to worry about.

If the idea appeals to you, I recommend using this template to write your own Mental Health Plan.

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