Saturday, 29 August 2015

holding the coats

Here is an extract from an Email written this morning to a trainee clinical psychologist in relation to my 'stigma and scapegoating' blog post, then forwarded on to academics and others:

"I think that if an "expert by experience" is teaching or facilitating a class of trainees or students in mental health matters then it will be challenging and a real opportunity for learning.  The EbE could be a lecturer who is willing to admit to "mental illness" or mental health issues.  It doesn't have to be a "performing monkey" or person who is paid peanuts for spilling their guts.

Regarding the DClinPsy courses at both Scottish universities, I believe it will require a paradigm shift by the academics.  In content and delivery, and in their attitudes and behaviour, towards people with "lived experience" and to the people who they engage with in the course of their "work". 

If there is psychiatric abuse going on in a health board setting where clinical psychologists are based, working with patients, I do not think that offering patients "mindfulness" is good enough.   I describe it as "holding the coats".

Those of us who are psychiatric survivors and/or mental health service users deserve to be treated with the utmost respect.  Because we have been at the sharp edge.  There is no excuse for academics sitting by, holding the coats, while a mother, psychiatric survivor and unwaged carer is bullied for speaking out about psychiatric abuse.  Or to bring pressure to bear on that mother because her agenda is not the same as the academics' agenda.  Bullying by another name. ..."


'Mindfulness is all very well – but don’t give up your right to get angry' by Tracey Thorn, in New Statesman, 27 August 2015

"I started thinking about this the other night when I was watching What Happened, Miss Simone?, Liz Garbus’s documentary on Nina Simone. The film is full of extraordinary live clips, including one jarring occasion when Simone sings “I Loves You, Porgy” on Hugh Hefner’s television show Playboy’s Penthouse, surrounded by gowns and cigarette holders, her eyes full of burning sorrow. What struck me about many of the performances was her vivid, righteous anger. Her daughter spoke of her being diagnosed fairly late in life with bipolar disorder, and that can’t be ignored – but still, what rang out like a bell from the life story that was told was how much of her fury was justified, and how it found an outlet in both political activism and creativity."


in Scottish Sunday Express 5 October 2014


Stratheden Hospital Blog post 11 April 2015: the naughty step

screenshot blog 29 August 2015

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