Thursday, 25 April 2013

WRAP as a power tool

I want to see WRAP - wellness recovery action planning - used as a power tool in terms of a person taking charge of their own mental health, taking back the power from the psychiatric system and getting back on with their life.  It can be done, that's what I did, and many others too.  WRAP can help with this.  

WRAP isn't just about keeping well.  It's got recovery and action in the title.  Now action is what I like and have always preferred to do something and not just talk about it.  Whereas in Scotland's mental health world there seems to be a lot of talking and not much doing.  Consultations and having users, survivors and carers 'involved' but often it's a tick box, tokenistic task.  

We go along, say our piece, they decide what fits in with their strategy and plans, and then we get left behind.  It felt like that with the SRN narrative research project.  I shared my story in 2005 then updated in 2008, others told their stories to interviewers, they went in a book and then?  Who knows what has been the result.  It's a mystery.  For things seem to be going on just the same as before.

Human rights abuses in locked psychiatric wards, psychiatric drugs the only option for the 'severe and enduring' with 'mental illness', recovery for some and not for others.  ECT and brain surgery continues as a 'therapeutic' option.  Mostly to women because obviously we are the depressed ones.  If that's the case then why are See Me doing primetime TV adverts just now in Scotland aimed at men?  On golf courses.  And what is it costing?  Will the men be up for ECT and brain surgery if the drugs don't work and they are deemed 'treatment resistant'?

Let's get WRAP into crisis plans and advance statements.  Give it the power it deserves.  Not just a wishy washy arty crafty tool that makes everyone compliant and a nice person.  What's nice got to do with it when they are coming towards you with anti-psychotic in syringes and mood stabilisers in pill form?  Drugging the distressed, shutting up the sensitive among us who feel the world's pain and our own powerlessness. 

Let's get into developing strengths and resilience, discovering and recovering abilities to withstand the pain and the psychiatric onslaught.  Support for getting off psychiatric drugs, involving tapering techniques and peer support, sharing mutual experiences.  Because for me to get off the psych drugs I had to do it on my own in 2003, and nothing has changed since then in Scotland.

See Laura Delano's latest post on Mad in America 'Finding the Meaning in Suffering: My Experience with Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (in a Nutshell)', a powerful testimony of her escape from psychiatry and plans to build "a directory of “mental health” providers across North America (and eventually, we hope, the world) who will work with people wanting to come off psychotropic drugs".  Scotland should be part of this movement and not be left behind in this important piece of work.

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