Hannah, a POhWER advocate, met Colin during an advocacy drop-in she was delivering at a mental health unit. Colin told her that he was worried because he had pets at home and no one was feeding them while he was in hospital. He said he had two gerbils and two cats and they were not being looked after. Hannah asked if he had spoken to anyone about this and he said that he had, but that they weren't listening to him. Colin felt that he wasn't being taken seriously, and that his animals' wellbeing was in jeopardy, and in turn, his own.  

Hannah spoke to the ward manager who told her that when Colin was admitted he was in a state of psychosis and so when he told the Mental Health Team he had ‘two gerbils and two lions’ the Mental Health Team believed the animals were part of Colin’s psychosis and not something that they needed to make note of and action.

However, the ward manager promised to look into the matter now that Hannah had made him aware of the situation. The ward manager suggested Hannah contact the company funding Colin’s care which she did. The funders passed the information to the Patient Liaison Team, who after some toing and froing, said that they did not have Colin on their records and could not help.  

Hannah contacted the ward manager again, and explained that she had contacted the funders and they had been of no help. She also explained that Colin was very worried about his beloved animals, and she was concerned about his wellbeing in worrying about them, and the potential distress that would be caused if he went home when discharged and no one had been in to look after his pets. The ward manager emailed Hannah the following day to say that the funders had made contact to say this was now being dealt with, and someone from the Community Team was regularly going in to feed and look after Colin’s pets.  

A few days later Hannah spoke to Colin on the ward.  He was so happy his animals were now being fed, and described this as “a weight off his mind”. This has increased his mental wellbeing and improved his quality of life, thus helping in his recovery.