Yesterday, Jackie posted a marvellous picture of Robert, our day six dude, spending his first day in his new home.
It’s a really important picture because it shows the immediate value of Robert having his own space. Things that can never happen in in-patient services.
Robert has his own TV. In an ATU, there is usually a TV in the communal lounge and people’s preferred viewing has to be negotiated with the preferences of the other detainees and the staff coming into play.
Robert has a shelf unit with all his personal stuff on it. He can chose when he watches a DVD. This couldn’t happen in an ATU. When Steven was detained, he quickly cottoned on to the fact that his personal items that are of great importance to him weren’t safe. CDs would go missing or damaged, so after a few weeks, he would ask me to bring them home. You don’t want to put your valuable belongings at risk.
Robert is wearing his own clothes that fit him. In an ATU, clothes go missing and you find yourself wearing someone else’s clothes. Regardless of size. Or your clothes are hideously shrunk in the industrial type washing machines that ATUs tend to favour. Robert can now go about his business looking like a regular dude and not an inmate.
It is so heart warming.
Let’s raise our glasses to Robert, Jackie, all his family and friends who have battled so hard and to those professionals who fought Robert’s corner when the decision makers had other plans.