[Email just sent to Health and Sport Committee Scottish Parliament asking to be heard because they are not allowing any of us experts by experience to testify in person during their scrutiny of the evidence for the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill. I fear another whitewash.]
I am disappointed that I will not have an opportunity to speak in person to the Health and Sport Committee, in defence of my testimony regarding my family’s negative experiences related to the failure of the Mental Health Act for Scotland to protect the rights of vulnerable people detained under the Act. And the failure of the Principle, ‘Respect for Carers’.
I am concerned that the voices of “professionals” and paid workers will drown out the voices of the survivors of psychiatric treatment and their mothers, carers and family members. Past experience informs my concerns. Unfortunately I have found out that, in Scotland’s mental health world, involvement is more meaningless than meaningful. Critical voices are silenced in favour of the crowd pleasers and those who don’t “rock the boat” by exposing the cracks in a system that can resort to force in the name of “compulsory treatment”.
I am sorry but I am not reassured by your words regarding Committee members reading our written evidence “carefully”. I am looking for more than this. I think that if we were invited to tell our stories then that would be a more powerful witness and case for significant changes to the Act and for actions to be taken to ensure that psychiatric patients are not subject to abuse when locked in and locked up because of mental health difficulties.
Chrys Muirhead (Mrs)”