Yesterday evening I received 5 Emails, forwarded on from a woman who is a detained patient in a Scottish psychiatric hospital, not Fife. Dated from 20-29 January 2016. Which I have forwarded on to colleagues, to Colin McKay, Mental Welfare Commission, to MSPs in the woman's area, to my MSP Roderick Campbell, and to VOX (voices of experience) and HUG (Highland Users Group) contacts, for their information.
In these Emails the woman says that she is not mentally ill but is to be subject to a forced depot injection fortnightly. And was given one electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment on the day she entered the hospital. Her writing was lucid and made sense, containing observations of what went on in the ward and issues arising.
I noticed that there were IT, knitting and pottery classes available. Nothing like that was on offer at Stratheden Hospital, Fife, in 2012. The female patient also said that independent advocacy was helpful and that she managed to eventually obtain a solicitor to act on her behalf, likely at a Mental Health Tribunal, appealing the 28 day detention.
The patient says that she was put on to a 28 day S44 short-term detention, not a 72 hour one, "for the purpose of an Appeal under the Act". And says that she always receives a depot injection on the "premise" that she refuses to accept that she is mentally ill or that the diagnosis is correct.
The Emails had long lists of points containing a variety of information and detail, past and present. They were not addressed to me in person but had been forwarded on so I assume that many other people also received these Emails. I think it's very useful that this woman has written about her daily experiences as a psychiatric patient on the ward. A personal diary shared with the outside world.