In 2011 I met with SAMH senior managers on a number of occasions to discuss the topic of peer led crisis services in North East Fife and to plan "At the Sharp Edge' on 20 September 2011 in Dunfermline, Fife. This conference was attended by over 80 people, including a group from SLAM (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).
I did most of the organising for this event, voluntarily, and SAMH shared the costs. I am an unpaid carer and psychiatric survivor, supporting my son after dehumanising treatment in Stratheden Hospital in February 2012.
The plan was for SAMH to work with myself and others in NE Fife to set up a peer led crisis service, and so we had meetings until 2012 when suddenly the goalposts changed, the meetings stopped and nothing more happened. Some of the senior SAMH managers left the organisation, the ones who we had been meeting with in Fife.
Now I hear that SAMH has won the contract for supporting long and medium stay patients out of Stratheden Hospital through the rehabilitation redesign programme. My thoughts? They used me to get a foothold in NE Fife and then dropped me to pursue their own interests.
I have been fighting a human rights campaign in Stratheden Hospital, challenging dehumanising treatment of patients, the use of a seclusion room, patients being locked in for hours at a time with no toilet, while SAMH have been making money.
Then recently at the See Me Dunblane event the SAMH chief executive threatened me with libel because I had blogged about him attending a big pharma event (blog about our Email exchanges). It's a free country and I have every right to question the motives of Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive, if he is speaking at a Janssen pharmaceuticals sponsored event.
I say shame on SAMH for using an unpaid carer then trying to bully me into silence. Shame on you! SAMH used to be an organisation that supported people with lived experience and stood up for human rights issues. Now it seems they are all about profit and about using people with lived experience as stepping stones.
I am not happy at being used by SAMH as a stepping stone then dumped and picked on.