Email to fellow campaigner requesting a female psychiatric survivor be at his meeting with Minister Jamie Hepburn
Here is a copy of an Email sent this morning to a fellow male human rights campaigner, and others.
An exhortation to consider my request that a psychiatric survivor, a woman and a mother, be at the meeting with him and the Minister for Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn:
I believe that
there should be a psychiatric survivor at the meeting with the Minister
on 5 February 2015. Preferably a woman and a mother. To give balance
and also to speak from personal experience. I have to speak out about
this to you, and the others, and can't keep quiet. I wouldn't have
survived traumatic psychiatric treatment and the stigmatising labels if
I'd allowed myself to be silenced.
The main issue about the
psychiatric system and mental health law is that our voices are not
being heard. The women, the mothers and the mental patients. It has
been written, by feminist academics, that psychiatry treats everyone
like women. That ECT is a gentleman's way of battering a woman. (see
2006 paper by Bonnie Burstow, 'Electroshock as a form of violence against women')
is the voices of the survivors which have the power and should be
heard, in my opinion. Those of us who did not believe in the lifelong
mental illness labels or that we had to swallow the disabling
psychiatric drugs, and then were forced to do so. Those of us who
tapered the drugs and got out of the system, under our own steam,
resisting the patriarchy and what was written about us "in the notes".
health law gives power to the system, in my experience, and we have not
found the safeguards to be safe. In Carseview, Dundee, this didn't
matter so much because the psychiatric nurses were caring to the
patients and respectful to the carers. However it was a completely
different story in Stratheden, Fife, where there were human rights
abuses going on behind closed doors. Women, female patients, at risk of
sexual exploitation when made to swallow psychiatric drugs and not
being protected by staff.