I have been concerned for some time that we are not hearing the voices of psychiatric survivors speaking out in Scottish Parliament at debates on mental health. Rather we have an MSP who is a psychiatrist and other MSPs who are carers but no-one speaking out as an "expert by experience", from the position of having been a mental patient or psychiatric inpatient, a person with a "mental disorder" label.
That's what is lacking, in my opinion. The real voices of experience. People who have been at the sharp edge, of mental distress and forced drug treatment. Who have survived the experience and live to tell the tale. Some of us may have made a complete recovery and left the label behind, yet it still sits in our notes like a spectre at the feast.
This Tuesday in Scottish Parliament at the Public Petitions Committee there are two items of interest. And I will be watching via the live link on the internet as I'm out of action due to a sore leg.
The first item of interest is the Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition PE1493 from Dr Peter J Gordon, the third time his petition is being considered. Dr Gordon is a consultant psychiatrist, a questioning doctor and a person who has experienced mental health challenges.
Open and transparent from omphalos
Here is a link to Dr Peter Gordon's Hole Ousia website and his writings, films, the history and submissions of his petition: A Sunshine Act for Scotland
The second item of interest is the new petition on Mental Health Act inquiry PE1550 by Andrew Muir on behalf of Psychiatric Rights Scotland:
"Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to
set up a public inquiry into historical cases of abuse of people
detained under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 and the Mental
Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003"
Live link to Public Petitions Committee meeting, CR4, James Clerk Maxwell Room at Scottish Parliament.