Wednesday, 20 March 2013

two tier user involvement and the irritating friendly fire

I want to say something about the two tier structure of service user involvement in mental health that's become more apparent to me as I have got more involved in mental health matters.  The fact that there appears to be a them and us in the user movement, those who are siding with the powers that be to bring about change and those of us who are trying to take back the power that is ours and belongs to us.

I do think that we're all trying to do the same thing, in a sense, but it becomes a battle within the ranks and a foray of friendly fire that feels anything but friendly.  And the powers that be aren't too bothered because it means they're not in the firing line.  It seems that some of our comrades are climbing the slippery ladder in their efforts to be accepted and affirmed.  That's up to them.  I'm not bothered about that. 

What does irritate me is their tendency to blame the activists and campaigners for trying to bring about real change just because it may affect their position on the ladder and at the table.  I say to them, lay off the sniping and backbiting, it's not doing the cause any good, and it could backfire on you anyway.  Let us speak out and do our thing.  It's a free country and we deserve to have our say.

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