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How Cygnet Acer Clinic gave me my life back


In our latest blog Skye, a service user who has recently been discharged from Cygnet Acer Clinic, writes about how the team at the hospital have helped her turn her life around after many years of unsuccessful admissions to a succession of adolescent, acute and rehabilitation services.

I didn’t have the best beginning, I went into foster care aged 4 and was in the care system where I was moved from place to place as I was just too hard to look after, until I eventually moved out at 16.

This was also the first time I ever went into a psychiatric hospital when I was admitted to an adolescent’s hospital, and from there it all went downhill. I got transferred to an acute adults service at 18 and then went to my first longer stay rehabilitation service.

It wasn’t the best of places I was there just over a year, I then got transferred to another service where I spent nearly 5 years. Being there in fact made me worse, it made me so institutionalised. When I finally left there and went back into the community I was back in and out of acute services for 3 years.

In 2018 it was decided that I go back to a long term rehab where I ended up on 2:1 for 6 months. I was then transferred to another unit where I spent a year there. My risks just kept increasing until it got to a point where I was too high a risk to be there. That’s when I came to Cygnet Acer Clinic.

I walked through those doors on the 19th May 2021 not wanting to trust anyone. Or even want to try working on myself as I had just been let down so many times, I had incident after incident. I thought they would just move me again but surprisingly they didn’t, they stuck by me. Which to me was a massive shock.

I was in a really dark place, and didn’t see a way out. The staff at Acer slowly knocked my walls down and I started to build relationships. I realised these staff were all in it for the long run no matter how hard it got!

I’ll never forget what one member of staff said to me “we will catch you every time you fall” which of course I did not believe. But in fact they did…

It took time but I slowly started to want my life back. And all of the Acer staff were willing to do whatever it took to get me there. After months and months of ups and downs I finally decided it was time for me to get my game head on and get back into the community. I said I wanted discharge, and the team actually agreed this was a good move!

It took a while of people testing me but I eventually got made informal and had a community placement accept me.

I cannot thank Acer staff enough for all of the support and care they gave me. They made me realise I had a life out there. They made me realise I was good enough, and that hospital life is not for me anymore. They saved me – if it wasn’t for them I would not be here now.

I’m all Team Acer!!!!! Thank you for giving me my life back!!

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