Here are comments I’ve just submitted to a Scottish Recovery Network (SRN) article ‘Stigma, recovery and Scottish attitudes to mental health’ 15 December 2014:
“As an unpaid carer and mother of two sons with mental health difficulties who are in receipt of DLA I can testify that stigma and discrimination is very much alive and kicking in Scotland, particularly in psychiatric settings and mental health services.
Here is an example of a recent incident that happened to one of my sons who was given a work placement by a council employability project worker, within a social work office. On the second week of the placement my son was spotted by a Mental Health Officer who had worked with my son 18 months previously, hadn’t seen him in the meantime.
Outcome? The MHO spoke with the senior social worker overseeing the placement, and didn’t include my son in the discussion. His workplace activities got curtailed, in case he overheard the MHO on the phone and breached confidentiality. Which is what the MHO did by her very actions, demonstrating perfectly by her actions stigma and discrimination. Our response? My son ended the placement and I raised a complaint.”
“To add. I have a schizoaffective disorder label/diagnosis in my “notes” after experiencing a menopausal psychosis in 2002, however I made a full recovery by 2005, putting my story on the SRN website.
However in 2012 when one of my sons was a psychiatric inpatient it was written in his notes “family history of schizoaffective disorder” (me). I contend my label was used to stigmatise and discriminate against my son, in respect of his unreasonable treatment, my complaint recently upheld by the Ombudsman.”