I wasn't the only "expert by experience" on the group and I'd been invited to participate by the moderator, a lecturer. This person knew me well, my background, the work I do as a writer, activist and campaigner, what had happened to my son in Stratheden Hospital, Fife. They had to have known that my comments about mental health nursing practice would relate to my experiences with NHS Fife.
When I complained about my voice being silenced, the way it was done, without any discussion beforehand, there was no apology forthcoming. Rather the lecturer said in an Email to me:
"More NHS staff have requested to join the community this week. I hope we can build a membership that consists of many people from all backgrounds, and those who have different experiences of mental health issues (good or bad)"
I responded by saying:
"You deleted my comments on the facebook group (CoP as you have called it), without discussing it with me first. That is obviously your prerogative, as moderator. However it is not good practice and will stifle real, honest dialogue. In my opinion.
Good luck in your endeavour to "build a membership". However, speaking as a community development worker of many years experience, by silencing voices there will be no community. Rather you will have a hierarchical group where some people claim to be "experts" and others are deemed to be "learners". In community work we are all learners. Empowering one another."
I think that this mental health nursing lecturer was more concerned about the prospective NHS staff who were about to join the group than about the voice of a psychiatric survivor and carer who was already a group member. I was of lesser value and treated accordingly. My words deleted. That hurt.
I expressed my pain and disappointment in a number of tweets last night, to get it out of my system, and then this morning wrote an Email to the lecturer, for their eyes only.
Here are some of my tweets:
just delete all the words of the psychiatric survivors so as to make the group fit for NHS nurses. That about sums it up. Nuts.— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) July 8, 2015
imagine inviting me on to a virtual group and then expecting me to not speak out? how daft is that?— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) July 8, 2015
good luck to them all in their Cop OUT— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) July 8, 2015
That's Entertainment. Sha la la la la. Do they expect me to conform? Mmm? Mental health nurse training in Scotland is pants!— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) July 8, 2015
[the last tweet was a reference to the Paul Weller set at Glastonbury 2015 and his song of that name which I was winding down to at the time]
[a reference to Hugh Masters, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government]are you listening Mr Masters?— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) July 8, 2015