You may say the statement quoted indicates a breach of the Public Interest Disclosure Act and ask: How can there be along drawn-out legal case following? - The tricks remain: Trying to discredit the whistleblower 'for other reasons', find tricks in the barrister's tool box - mmh, an honest person would have doubts about using... and away you go. Throw into the mix that the individual ends up being unrepresented and the Judge does not investigate the facts or the policies in place. And before you know it - the years go by.
email to the BBC (feedback and All In The Mind): ... just before I switched off the radio this am to avoid getting royally annoyed, I heard a royal correspondent (ca 845 on R4) speak (sort of complimentary) of Prince Harry having been mentally and ill and seeking treatment.
I can't comment about any condition PH may or may not have suffered from, but in any case I find the language offensive (not only on his behalf). As far as I am aware he had to get over a psychological trauma. Period. As do many.
And: I am pretty sure the treatment he sought was not compulsory medication while being locked up in a NHS psychiatry ward as it would happen to people without funds and connections if they went off the rails. So it might be worth
- clarifying the terminology and discussing psychological treatment available vs outdated medication-only treatment on the NHS. Thank you.
Today I have filed a complaint with the European Commission as I see a breach of Art 6.1 HRA and Art 47 FREU - the latter guarantees an effective remedy for injustice suffered, the former a fair trial where needed - including 'equality of arms.
Today, let's start with how it all began:
While a Safeguarding Meeting for a female patient (in a mental health unit where I sas locum social worker at the time) was being prepared (Jan 2011: I was told in the presence of witnesses by a Senior Consultant a) “This (the allegation of sexual abuse of one of the Trust’s patients by her father) has long been a suspicion. At one point (the patient) threw herself down a flight of stairs. This was seen (sic) by some as due to the fact that (the father) was kissing her more in a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of manner. The allegation was put to him but denied and the Social Worker did not take it any further.” b) After I had indicated that this information would have to be part of the Safeguarding Meeting, the I was told, indicating a clear breach of the Public Interest Disclosure Act – PIDA -): “If you disclose (any of this) - there will be a Management Response.”
Published online, I read in the Nowrwich Evening News from Feb 9, 2018 about the suicide of a young man after failing to get mental health services. I only know about the case what I read there. Given that Sir Robert Francis QC's comment from the MidStaffs Enquiry still echoes in my mind, I am shocked but not all that surprised - "A culture has allowed to develop that puts the self-protection of the organisation over patient care..."
While working as a Locum Social Worker in England, I have more than once observed how even reasonably compassionate colleagues when the client did not respond to what was offered them reverted to blaming the client for being attention-seeking or worse. And more than once, after listening to difficult clients' concerns rather than their diagnosis, I have been able to offer simple real-life support for what they needed - assistance for the person to be able to help themselves. (Often they found useful the free online material published by teh Australian Centre for Clinical Interventions - their Consumer Handbooks).
So what shocks me here most is how client and algorithm-trained staff remained locked in a futile vicious circle of expectations. Ultimately, I see at the heart the expectation that the medical model of diagnosing and medicating can solve real-life problems people want to fix (as the father in this case says his late son was very keen to do even!)
It is the culture that needs to change. Psychiatry-survivors such as the Hearing Voces Network are already presenting key aspects of what is needed - taking the real concerns people live with and present seriously. From theere the process starts to see deeply and clearly.
Mostly due to demands on my time from a longstanding social justice/expert witness matter, I find myself not quite in the frame of mind to maintain regular blog entries, it appears. However, if you'd like to read some of my views, why don't you check out my public posts here: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.schaefer.984
- send me a messaga and we may be able to connect that way. Thank you.
BBC2 HORIZON last week offered a programme ("Why did I go mad?") that shows 3 survivors on their journeys and successful paths beyond medicating. Best watched: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08pltgy
Shared on change.org on the petition by a young woman determined to get help for her homeless brother who is an addict: "... agree with your demand for a new paradigm of mental health care. The MHA (and statutory services in general mostly) does nothing to aid recovery. However, I would just like to add: There is almost an element of cunning wisdom sneaking in where it says someone cannot be sectionned (and thus treated against their will) for being an addict. They'd be in there forever... In other words: It seems to be an existential truth that the addict has to be ready... and attempts to get them there (to being ready) have to be cunning, patient and 'ready to jump in' when the time is right ."
sually I look forward to BBC Radio 4's All In The MInd. This week, I was left a bit concerned about their recommendation to 'speak with your GP' when experiencing mental health issues. While I agree with the qualifier that it would be best if one knew the GP well (who does though these days?) and the suggestion to describe feelings rather than theorise about them seems good, I would advise to speak with the GP only if absolutely necessary, and to take a friend to the appointment. My advice would be: Look for self help information, such as from MIND, RETHINK and these self help modules:
and speak with 2 different friends about your feelings first, if possible. Of course, don't do anything to put yourself or anyone else at risk. Keep as calm as you can: Help is out there. Many libraries have a shelf 'books on prescription' on mental health - and you don't need a prescription for those! IF you decide to speak with your GP, you may end up being prescribed medication as most, in my experience do not have the time or skill to listen deeply. Think carefully about taking it and do research the side effects and risk of dependency. Doctors may not talk about before starting you on meds. In the words of one expert-by-experience, Dr. Eleanor Longden, Mental Health is about "what happened to you? - rather than 'what is wrong with you?" So the help needed may not be medical.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission was in the news (on BBC Radio 4) tonight, saying that disabled people continue to be disadvantaged despite the Disability Disrimination Act... Whether you are facing an assessment, an appeal or are not sure how best to present the complex situation of one of your clients: You need an independently minded, highly experienced and deep-thinking expert who will find a way to credibly present the person's rights and interests. Send us an enquiry...
From personal and professional experience, it seems to me, it is not just that legal aid is practically not available when needed - including eceptional legal aid: - someone I know well was assessed over the phone in 5 minutes by a person who sounded like she was hardly out of her teens and - refused. It is also, the way formally available tools such as e.g. Judicial Review are advertised - on government web sites, hiding more information than providing, and certainly not inviting or facilitating. Any phone lines given are usually occupied.. and don't even the fonts used look forbidding? I may already have quoted the retired solicitor-husband of an acquaintance of mine: "Justice is practically only available for those who can pay for it." In England.