Cambridgeshire

Former mental health patient now works on ward that treated her

Jaz Frost
Image caption Jaz Frost was a patient on the Springbank Ward where she is now a support worker

A woman who was living at a mental health hospital has become a support worker on the ward that treated her.

Jaz Frost, 25, had a severe personality disorder, leading to self-harm, and was a patient at the Springbank Ward at Fulbourn Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

But last year she qualified in peer support and has been working on the same ward helping other women with their mental health problems.

She said: "It makes me feel proud of myself for coming full-circle."

The Springbank Ward is a 12-bed unit for women with borderline personality disorder who struggle to cope with the demands of life outside of hospital.

Image caption BBC Look East spoke to Jaz Frost in 2018 when she was living in Fulbourn Hospital

Ms Frost was admitted to the ward three years ago following years of self-harm and spent a year as an in-patient.

Following training from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust she returned to work at the hospital providing patients with support through her own experience of the condition.

She said: "Initially I thought it was going to be really strange and I thought it would take a lot of getting used to but I settled in really quickly and it didn't feel weird for very long."

Image copyright Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS
Image caption Jaz Frost received training from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust which runs Fulbourn Hospital

Ms Frost said her own experience on the ward allowed her to "understand" what patients were going through and "why they are feeling the way they are feeling".

Ward manager Siobhan O'Kane said: "Jaz adds that lived experience of the diagnosis.

"She knows what it's like to spend 12 months in the unit; she knows the challenges and is able to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel."

Ms Frost said she would now like to gain a nursing degree and become a therapist in borderline personality disorder.

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