Sunday, 19 October 2014

'A Plea to Scottish Parliament: Fair and Just Treatment for All People in Psychiatric Settings' my latest post on Mad in America

'A Plea to Scottish Parliament: Fair and Just Treatment for All People in Psychiatric Settings' my latest post on Mad in America


"Today I Emailed a submission with strapline ‘A Plea: Fair and Just Treatment for All People in Psychiatric Settings’ to the Health and Sport Committee at Scottish Parliament as evidence in respect of the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill. The overarching objective of the Bill is stated in the policy memorandum as: “to help people with a mental disorder to access effective treatment quickly and easily.” 

I am looking for more than this.  As a mother and carer of two sons with mental disorder labels I want to see:

  • The Mental Health Act implemented properly and monitored effectively in every Scottish Health Board area, including Fife where I live
  • Mental Health Act safeguards that are safe: in my family’s experience we have found that advance statements were overruled, named persons (myself) were uninformed, Mental Health Tribunals were weighted in favour of “professionals”, Mental Health Officers behaved unprofessionally and the Mental Welfare Commission were wise after the event and had no power to influence health boards to improve buildings that they had declared “unfit for purpose”
  • Carers, and mothers, respected by all mental health professionals, including Scottish Government civil servants and Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Patients not subject to dehumanising treatment and a denial of their basic human rights when locked up and locked in Scottish psychiatric units."

"Many people have sent me words of encouragement in response to the upholding of my complaint by the Ombudsman and to my son for speaking out to the national newspaper, the Sunday Express, about his ordeal in the locked seclusion room within the locked psychiatric ward.  Here is a selection of these:

“Congratulations on the vindication of your account of the treatment of your son.  Your strength, courage and commitment are immense.”

“Well done! Your tenacity is an inspiration to us all.”

“This is an important victory and shows others that they can take on the system.”

“I hope that the attention generated by this article helps stimulate genuine and lasting improvements in mental health care standards.”

"It is a brave step that you have taken, and you have my support. I hope that others find the strength to voice their concerns and stories.”

“I am so proud of Daniel and his special Mum.”
Thanks to all my friends and colleagues who have stood with me and my son in our fight for justice and for our voices to be heard.  It is a small but important step on our justice quest.  And many thanks to Robert Whitaker for giving me the space to speak out on Mad In America.  

Bob invited me to be one of the first “foreign correspondents” in January 2012, after having invited Bob to speak in Fife, Scotland, in November 2011, on Anatomy of an Epidemic.  The opportunity to write here has opened doors and given me strength, to be in solidarity with others and to be listened to.  Thank you."

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