By Jack Bennington
Key Themes: Mental Health, Nurse, Carer, Dementia
Ever wondered what really goes on behind the closed doors of a mental health nursing home? Don’t Mention Dementia unmasks a secret world where alcohol, drugs, sex, and theft are all in a day’s work.
Meet the nurses and carers responsible for your relatives needs.
Meet the residents and see where your money is really going in healthcare today.Follow mental health nurse Jack Bennington’s warts-and-all account of a twelve hour shift at a private nursing home.
Packed with stories from the front line, some sad, some surprisingly funny, Don’t Mention Dementia is an authentic, up close and personal account – both of the state of the industry and the poignant journey of those with dementia.
About the Author
Jack Bennington was born in the Midlands in 1977. He gained a degree in media, but after developing an interest in psychology, later trained as a mental health nurse. Upon qualifying he took up a position working with individuals with dementia.
Jack continues to develop his interest and knowledge of mental health issues, exploring links between healthy living, psychology, and the mind. He still works closely with his local university in developing educational and visual training tools for future mental health students.
By the same author:
Mental Health: A Student Nurse Account
A person’s life begins when they are born. They grow up, and have a wealth of life experiences; they meet people along the way. Some get married, some have children. But it is their life. They choose to live it how they want.
Whatever happens, they retain that life experience, and they are an individual on this planet, with their own unique experience and outlook on the world.
What is your definition of Mental Health? What images does it conjure up in your head? Place those images firmly in the forefront of your mind. Imagine them projected onto a huge cinema screen, vivid and colourful. Take a few minutes to watch those images scroll past. Remember them clearly.
I am a mental health nurse. For some of you, you may have an idea of what this entails; for everyone else, you will be none the wiser. After the events of this book, you will have a further appreciation and understanding of the challenges and work that goes into the role, and discover what a mental health nurse does, day in, day out. Welcome to the next twelve hours of my life.
I remember thinking for years, like most other people, that nursing was really women’s work, and nurses must spend all their time walking around hospital beds, emptying bed pans, and generally just being nice. This was a terribly misogynistic outlook, and one I now realise was completely inaccurate.
I never thought that I would ever become a nurse, let alone a mental health nurse. I guess in the past I had held a very blinkered view of mental illness as being ‘scary’ and ‘dangerous’. I would often glance at a newspaper and see the headlines glaring back at me, ‘Schizophrenic murdered entire family.’ ‘Manic Depressive burgled elderly lady’s home.’ ‘Local woman jumps off multi storey car park.’ I, like others, developed a very negative impression of mental health.
What had opened my eyes to mental health had all started during a bleak midwinter day at an open day at my local university. I had decided to attend a two day taster session, during which I experienced some sample lectures and a brief introduction to what mental health nursing was all about, giving me an insight into what would be required of me if I were to embark on this career path. I went away from this feeling enthusiastic and inspired. It had shown me how varied a career in mental health could be, and as I bid goodbye to fellow attendees I wondered if I would ever see them or the university again, but things were about to change for me.