Erin Richards

Me enjoying time at the Brookfield Zoo.


I am thankful for my failed attempt to take my own life. When I first arrived at the emergency room they sent down a social worker to talk to me. I was sent to inpatient program at Hinsdale Hospital to receive the treatment they thought I needed. My journey began here. I arrived to the inpatient facility around 3:30am. They took my blood pressure and temperature and sent me to bed. I was allowed to sleep in that morning because I had arrived so late.

When I woke up they had a basic breakfast ready for me. Eggs, fruit, and pancakes. I didn’t eat much of it. When we were done with the meals they required us to turn in the plasticware and tell them the percentage of food we had eaten.

After breakfast they distributed sheets to all the people in inpatient. It was a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you missed the sheet they would give you the basic meal.

When I had gotten there, there were only two other girls in the facility. None of us would talk much. We would be sent to therapy and activities to ensure we were getting all the proper necessities. We would converse there when necessary.

In the next couple of days a couple more patients entered into our area. We all quickly became friends. I will never forget any of them.

The different activities included art, therapy, exercise, and morning/evening chat.

Visiting lasted an hour each day. My mom and dad would always come to visit.

When the therapist assigned to you knows that you’re about to be discharged, they set up a family meeting for you. Your parents are required to attend to discuss future plans and what needs to be changed. My assigned therapist recommended that we go to an outpatient program and find a therapist.

Prior to being an inpatient, my parents had no idea how depressed I was. Now I have gotten help and am continually realizing how great life is. I know there are better things to come. I am thankful I did not succeed at taking my own life because I would have missed out on many of the great things that have happened and will happen.

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