Friday, 27 March 2015

Dear @seemescotland Director: Stigma, Discrimination? A story of psychiatric nurses, the police and hearsay

Letter sent to Director of See Me Scotland and others with a stake in Scotland's mental health world: 

Strapline: Stigma, Discrimination? Two psychiatric nurses reported me to the police on 23 Mar15 on hearsay. Two police officers came to my home 25 Mar15 to investigate.

"Dear Judith and colleagues

For your information, here is a demonstration of the stigma and discrimination involved in having a mental illness label, in being a carer and a writer, activist and human rights campaigner in mental health matters.  And the misuse and abuse of power that can occur.

Two police officers came to my home on Wednesday afternoon and into my house.  Why?  Two psychiatric nurses from Stratheden Hospital, Fife, had given my name and that of my son, to the police, in relation to a "paranoid" patient who thought that someone was taking photos of them in the grounds of the hospital on Sunday.  From the description given the nurses knew it was me and so reported me.  The police acted upon this hearsay.

I had been in the grounds of Stratheden on Sunday after Church, taking photos of buildings and improvements or otherwise, as I have done for the last three years, since my son was subject to dehumanising and "unreasonable" treatment in the Stratheden IPCU.  

Here is my storify of tweets from Sunday where I mention being taken aback by a nurse accosting me:

No evidence but the testimony of two psychiatric nurses was enough for the police to investigate me.  To visit my home.  To cause my son, and I, distress.  To take my personal details.  To question my behaviour.  (they said that no further action would be taken and I was free to walk around the grounds of Stratheden Hospital, that's OK then)  I had taken the details of the police officers, asked the name of their line manager, told them something of my son's sub-human treatment in Stratheden, showed them my blogs, the posts from 2012.  My home is a place of refuge.  I do not appreciate having my peace disturbed.

I have raised a complaint (yet again) with NHS Fife, this time about the nurse who accosted me on Sunday.  She used to be the Named Nurse for my son when he was an inpatient of the Stratheden IPCU in February 2012.

Here is the blog post I wrote today: 'misuse of power':

I hope that when See Me Scotland, SAMH and your cohorts are challenging stigma and discrimination that you will try and get to the roots of the matter, where it all begins.  In psychiatry and mental health settings where people are labelled and seen as "less than".  Where people are deemed to be "without capacity" and any resistance is met with force.

Yours sincerely,


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