Letter sent this morning to a fellow campaigner for justice in psychiatric abuse cases, in response to his good wishes and declaration that he also plans to stand as a candidate at the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2016. Copied in to 40 plus MSPs and others.
Strapline: campaigning for justice on Carers Allowance/State Pension – at times I have felt very bruised and battered – my MSP Roderick Campbell has listened – health boards are a problem
“……. all the best to you too in your campaign for justice.
Yes I agree with your comment about “highly paid officials should be doing it” (campaigning for human rights and justice in psychiatric settings). And I agree that the Mental Welfare Commission is not an effective watchdog, wise after the event, particularly if there is a death. Why should we have to lose a family member so as to be listened to? The Mental Health Tribunal is not an effective safeguard and is weighted towards the “professionals”. That has been our experience in recent years.
I am now on the basic State Pension, at 62 and a half years, and consequently my Carers Allowance has ceased. My son who was dehumanisingly treated and abused in Stratheden Hospital three years ago is gradually recovering his equilibrium but it has been a long process which is still ongoing. I also support another son who is recovering from mental health issues in the Dundee area.
We have had to fight for justice in Fife all of the way and expose the abusive treatment and practices. Throughout this 3 years and more (I first started raising concerns in 2010) there were attempts made to lay the blame at my door and to slander my name, by psychiatric staff, social workers and (un)civil servants (Geoff Huggins). At times I have felt very bruised and battered.
However I want to say that my MSP Roderick Campbell has met with me and listened to my concerns, on a number of occasions, and through Emails. I know that he has visited Stratheden Hospital at various times for he has told me so. I think that the main problem lies with health boards and the power they have to close ranks, to turn a blind eye to what is going on and to refuse to do anything about it. Particularly in the Cinderella service of mental health care.
Parity of esteem in physical and mental health care is a priority. The rights of patients and their carers in psychiatric settings should be paramount. We need to hear ALL the voices and especially the critical feedback from mental health services. Otherwise the abuse will keep on happening.