Kicked into the long grass

Hole Ousia

This is a short update on “progress” made since my petition PE1493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland was closed more than a year-and-a-half ago.

[I was impressed by the Scottish Parliamentary Committee and the way it carefully and methodically considered my petition. Unfortunately my experience with the Scottish Government provided stark contrast]

Kicked into the long grass from omphalos

We want to gain the public’s trust, but are we listening to them?
(a letter published in the British Medical Journal)

Music credits: Dexter Britain (under common license)

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The world is a more wonderful and a more surprising place

Hole Ousia

This is a film based on the chaotic pendulum.

My friend, David Harrowes, took me to St. Mary Redcliffe parish church in Bristol.
I cannot recall the year. But it was not so ‘long ago’.

The world is a more wonderful and a more surprising place from omphalos

Music credits:
Thomas Tallis – Third Tune for Archbishop Parker.

This film is for Chrys Muirhead.

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Be Kind, Be Patient

Mental Health Cop

You may have seen that internet meme bouncing around on social media, above? This post is essentially about how this advice may be more important than other things we spend much longer talking and worrying about. I’ve been caused over the years to read a lot of books that have been pushed in my direction, in lieu of any proper training on what I do – professionals wanting me to know more about the ‘medical model’ and ‘psychological approaches’, even sociology and philosophy. I also catch snippets of CPD designed for AMHPs and mental health nurses, when I’ve been waiting to give presentations to them, or when I’ve been hanging around afterwards. In the course of doing my job, I’ve received hundreds if not thousands of emails and social media contacts over the years from patients, their families or carers about police training on mental health related matters.

“The police…

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Trauma Informed Care & people of colour


“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it” Zora Neale Hurston

There are different kinds of injuries. Not all pain is deemed legitimate. Oppression causes trauma. Amidst the (fairly) obvious, debates around what really constitutes trauma as laid out in criterion A of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) ‘s diagnosis for PTSD; are alive and well. Criterion A now requires that an individual has been “confronted with”: ‘death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence’ in order to qualify as trauma. In comparison to DSM-IV, the DSM-V notably includes sexual violence but not racial violence…troublingly evoking the fight for racial justice.

As a reminder, white woman were afforded the right to vote in both state and federal elections in 1920 but, it was only in 1954 that people of Asian heritage could vote and well into…

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Still Too Many Questions

Mental Health Cop

I wrote last week about three separate process which had concluded after adverse events involving the police and their response to mental health calls. I mentioned the conclusion of the inquest in to the sad death of Joseph Phuong and couldn’t say much about it as details weren’t covered in the media. I heard about this case shortly after it happened, when discussing policing and mental health matters with the Metropolitan Police and had awaited the inquest, interested in the view that would be taken of how events had unfolded – but I was aware I didn’t know anything like the full picture and I still don’t. I don’t know whether the Coroner will issue a ‘Regulation 28’ Preventing Future Deaths report, but I would imagine, if it’s coming, it will be worth reading. The IPCC have also suggested they’d review whether or not they can publish their report in…

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Hole Ousia



The two quotes about industrialisation and healthcare 
come from Intelligent Kindness by Ballat and Campling.

The considerations on conferences are included in a
this BMJ perspective

This post is creative, made in my own time and intended 
to ask questions in the spirit of the Freedom to Speak Up 
recommendations by Sir Robert Francis.

My forebear, Alexander MacCallum Scott grew up in Polmont, 
Scotland. He became an MP and was Private Secretary to 
Winston Churchill. I mention this as he turned down an OBE 
for his work connected with the war (WWI)


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Credible or incredible: experience is evidence

Hole Ousia

A senior Scottish figure once gave me advice that it is very important to be perceived as “credible”.

I was thinking about this advice recently when the convener of the Parliamentary Committee considering polypropylene Mesh implants concluded:

It is not surprising, therefore, that those who have experienced harm from healthcare may feel that they are not being listened to.

In the same week another example featured in a week long series of articles in the Herald: “A Bitter Pill”. On a background of ever increasing prescribing of antidepressants it appears that my profession is still struggling to accept the value of people’s experience (which may not always be positive) and can respond defensively:

One responder has already articulated my feeling about this:

My understanding is that this series in the Herald arose, at least partly, because of a petition to the Scottish Parliament which seeks consideration of prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal.


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Reflections on starting with the EMPOWER App


Jayne here, one of the peer workers on the EMPOWER study. I have lived experience of psychosis and I am delighted to be working in this role. I am very much looking forward to meeting participants in the study and sharing experiences of using the App. I started using the App just over a month ago and I thought I’d write this blog sharing how I’ve found it.

Installing EMPOWER

screen shotTo get started, I met with a member of the EMPOWER team who installed the App on my phone. During installation, I was invited to choose three statements to include in the App relating to my ‘early warning signs’. At first, I thought about choosing statements that would indicate I was experiencing psychosis, for example ‘sudden and dramatic weight loss,’ ‘very paranoid’. However, I realised that, it would be more helpful to choose statements that if I rated them more…

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