Normalisation by @DrEm_79 via @MentalHealthCop

Mental Health Cop

This is a guest post by Em, or @DrEm_79 from Twitter – our various discussions on there made me realise she has a lot to say that is important and relevant for police officers responding to mental health crisis incidents. I think there’s a lot going on here and much of it is contradictory: but that seems to me to be precisely the point Em is trying to make – the normalisation of the police as a de factomental health service is something to caution against and worry about

I’m giving a trigger warning, too: Em’s post contains descriptions of suicide attempts and restraint that may disconcert some who read this —

It takes eleven minutes to walk to the GP surgery, but I only made it halfway. I don’t remember deciding to die. I don’t know why I chose the wooded embankment, and I’d lost consciousness before…

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What disability benefit trends tell us about psychiatric treatments and the economy

Joanna Moncrieff

Sickness and disability benefits are a hot topic in the United Kingdom at the moment. The government’s new system means that everyone’s benefit entitlement is being reviewed, and this is causing huge stress and anxiety for many people, including my patients. Some people have suggested that for this reason, I should not have published the recent paper on trends in sickness and disability benefits that I published with a colleague, Dr Viola (1, It was unethical and should not have been allowed, apparently (2,, even though almost all the data is already in the public domain – on the Department for Work and Pensions’s website – in the name of transparency.

But we cannot simply ignore or suppress such a seismic shift in social trends. When I looked at benefit statistics in the 1990s, musculo-skeletal disorders (principally back pain) were overwhelmingly the biggest and fastest growing…

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good for nothing

The worthlessness of being an unpaid carer and psychiatric survivor activist.  Speaking out against human rights abuses and bad practice.  Unemployable. Unpopular.  Uninvited.

The reality of the “expert by experience” role in mental health matters.  A tick box affair.  An adjunct to the academics.  Giving their theories credibility.  Keeping them in well-paid jobs.  Keeping the mental illness mantra alive and kicking.

The realisation that there is no money in having a conscience and little income to be had in Scotland’s mental health world if an independent thinker, critical of empire medals and brown nosing.

But despite this I will continue to demand that Scottish Government create proper jobs for people with lived experience of surviving psychiatry and expect a positive outcome.  For why should I have to make do and mend when they are living like pigs in clover?
bears and pigs in clover


Scots Law on Mental Health

Mental Health Cop

I’m off to Scotland on Monday and half hoping the weather warnings we’re just hearing about might mean I get stuck there! I’m originally from the very north of England so a lot of my childhood memories involve holidays and short trips to Scotland – I’ve always loved the place and especially the people. At university I spent two summers playing bass in shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and have some great memories from that, as you might imagine! Living in the Midlands, I’m able to go there very rarely so I was thrilled to be invited to support work that Police Scotland are doing on early intervention, mental health and criminal justice and I’m looking forward to going again in March to do a presentation at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Forensic Psychiatry conference in Glasgow.

So I’ve been spending a lot of time reading … mainly Scots Law…

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