Friday, 14 April 2017

Mental Welfare Commission Adult Acute themed visit report April2017; #HunterWatson response

talk to the hand: MWC
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland's Adult Acute themed visit report April 2017

"We protect and promote the human rights of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions" p1

My response: No you don't.  There are no human rights guaranteed when a psychiatric inpatient in Scotland.  I can testify to this.

Scottish Sunday Express 5Oct14: Patient locked in cell, no toilet, food, water

Here are a couple of my tweets from yesterday, after reading up to p23 of MWC report then giving up:


Response from Hunter Watson, Mental Health Human Rights Campaigner, 14 April 2017, in Email to MSPs and Others:

"The MWC report makes interesting reading. Among the points to which attention should be paid are the following:

1. The report notes that exercise is to be encouraged since it can benefit both mental and physical health. Yet in some care homes for older people exercise is discouraged. Residents who wish to walk about are deemed to be restless and are liable to be given some form of chemical restraint, often an antipsychotic drug. The administration of this drug to an elderly resident with dementia increases the risk that the resident will die prematurely and so breaches that resident's absolute right to life.

2.  The MWC report fails to acknowledge that some experts believe that compelling involuntary mental health patients to continue taking antipsychotic drugs increases the risk that they will die prematurely whether or not they have dementia.

3.  The MWC report appears to assume that mental health patients who are detained under the provisions of the 2003/2015 Act do not have the right to refuse medication even though they might have the capacity to make a treatment decision. The MWC report, regrettably, ignores the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially to Article 12 of that binding international human rights treaty which has been ratified by the UK. A study of Article 12, which guarantees equal recognition before the law, should make it clear that people with mental health problems have the same right to refuse treatment as people with physical health problems.

4.  The MWC report gives the false impression that mental health patients will receive a fair hearing if they appeal to the mental health tribunal. Two matters should be noted in connection with this apparent assumption:
  (a) Forced treatment normally begins before an appeal can be made to the Tribunal.
  (b) Mental health tribunals are not impartial since their findings are based almost exclusively on the evidence provided by the responsible medical officer. Hence mental health tribunals do not provide the fair hearing required by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

5. The MWC report correctly notes that all people have an absolute right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. It is to be regretted, therefore, that the MWC did not investigate whether any of the mental health patients that came within the scope of its survey had been subject to such treatment. When carrying out this investigation it should have taken account of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the 2012 case of Gorobet v Moldova (para 52): forced treatment which had not been shown to be a medical necessity could amount at least to degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention. I personally am aware of treatment which belongs in this prohibited category and have written about it in some my papers.

     The MWC is to be commended for carrying out several worthwhile investigations. But its findings would be even more worthwhile if it paid greater heed to human rights issues and to the reality of the dreadful experiences of some involuntary mental health patients. It is to be hoped that the Scottish Government can be persuaded to do this."


'Staff shortages blamed for leaving mental health patients in fear': Helen McArdle, Herald Scotland 13 April 2017:


"A review of 47 mental health wards across Scotland found that one in five patients feel unsafe during the night on hospital "due to reduced staffing levels", with one patient telling inspectors they had "put a chair against my door because of the violence and the shortage of staff". Another patient complained that the atmosphere could be "quite frightening" due to patients with drug and alcohol problems, swearing and talking past midnight on mobile phones. 

The report, published today [Thu] by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, said safety was a "significant issue" for women in particular, with 28 on mixed wards saying they had felt unsafe compared to only two men. Only four of the 47 wards visited were single sex. ...."

"Scottish Labour Inequalities spokeswoman Monica Lennon MSP said: "No one should be made to feel unsafe or be subjected to sexual remarks, especially not vulnerable patients in our hospitals."


More of my tweets this morning:

Saturday, 8 April 2017

my comment #CriticalPsychiatry 7Apr17 RD Laing "experiment in unstructured living"

An experiment in unstructured living for people with mental health problems: Critical Psychiatry blog post 7 April 2017, Dr Duncan Double, and my comment:

"unstructured living": not a good idea in my experience of psychosis and having to survive psychiatric treatment in 1978, 1984 and 2002. It required planned action firstly in resisting coercive drug treatment to which I was forced to conform on each occasion. Then, when strong enough, tapering the antipsychotics and taking charge of my own mental health. I couldn't have done this without structure and the support of family. You might describe it as being like a campaign or strategy. An end goal with steps to achieve it. Recovery the aim.
Courier article 7July15
I experienced another psychosis in 2015, a physical and mental health breakdown after years of campaigning for justice following my youngest son's abusive treatment in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital, Fife. Despite winning an Ombudsman case and apology from NHS Fife I didn't feel that justice had been done. Scottish Government awarded £4.4million to the Fife health board following my whistleblowing about the locked seclusion abuses, to build a new Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit, which is now up and running, about half a mile up the road from where we live. The bus we take into Cupar goes by the new unit, stopping to let psychiatric patients on. 

My altered mind state or reactive psychosis in the summer of 2015 did not require psychiatric inpatient treatment. Rather I was supported by family and virtually via Email with clinical friends, a doctor and psychotherapist. Both of these men listened to my ramblings non-judgementally, with mutual sharings and humour, a life saver. Social networking was a useful outlet. Plus I took Lorazepam on two separate nights to get my sleep pattern back on track, removing any stimuli like TV and books from the bedroom. Not sleeping through the day even if tired. I took up various activities again, to relax, including knitting, sewing, swimming, fitness, eventually cycling which I hadn't really done before, seriously. Now I have 3 bikes.
at Drayton Park 19Jul16, Shirley on left, Hannah on right
Regarding the Philadelphia Association Community Houses in London, I tried to visit them in July 2016, via Dr Bruce Scott who I know, in preparation for my PhD research into Safe haven crisis Houses, starting this September at the University of Edinburgh, Clinical Psychology department. However this wasn't possible. I did manage to arrange a visit to the Drayton Park Women's Crisis House, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, meeting with Shirley McNicholas who developed this resource over 21 years ago and is still the Manager. This was a positive experience, seeing the facility and learning about the organisation. I've also visited the Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, back in 2011, and hope to revisit during my research, which will be to evidence good practice, a mixed methods approach, qualitative and quantitative, hearing stories and gathering information about management and leadership styles, budgets etc. Focused research and a larger scoping or mapping exercise.
I want to see alternative (to psychiatric inpatient treatment) respite crisis support for people experiencing psychosis in Scotland. Choices of therapy, not just medication/drugs. And support in tapering psychiatric meds by psychiatrists, psychologists and peer workers, people with lived experience of coming off prescription drugs and making a full recovery. As I did and others have done. Our testimonies should be an important part of the mix, at the table during clinical meetings, alongside diagnoses and drug prescribing. Rather than on the periphery in blog posts and tweets, or in case studies and "vignettes".
Thanks for listening."

8 April 2017 at 10:44          

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

#Windhorse & Basic Attendance Workshop London 3May17 - Anne Marie DiGiacomo Colorado USA

Windhorse and Basic Attendance – A One Day Introduction with Anne Marie DiGiacomo; Wednesday 3 May 2017: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm; organised by Open Dialogue UK  

St Barnabas Dalston, Lower Hall, Shacklewell Row, London E8 2EA

"The ground of the Windhorse approach is one of viewing a person from the perspective of their history of sanity. This involves bringing awareness to a person’s basic sanity and health as opposed to focusing on the notion of pathology. It is from this experience of noticing one’s history of sanity and our natural tendency to be drawn to the intrinsic wholeness and health of a person that the practice of basic attendance springs.

The view of basic attendance suggests that rather than doing something we could simply slow down and begin to appreciate and understand the world of the person we are with. We can allow ourselves to see the world through their eyes. This kind of approach involves being fully with someone, listening to them and appreciating the wholeness and integrity of that person and their environment. Any activity or actions comes out of that naturally."


"the awakening of compassion was a quantum leap": recovery from psychosis

'The Seduction of Madness' by Dr Edward M Podvoll, 1991 Ed, Random Century Ltd, page 47

awakening of compassion

13 February 2016: Staying Well After Psychosis: Contents trajectory; fear of relapse; professional belief system #Podvoll

24 February 2016: "whatever recovery he achieved depended on his memories of these truths" Podvoll 1990

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Presentations #BPS #DCP #Psychosis & Complex MH Faculty event 24Mar17 Stirling

Team CBT formulations to improve staff-patient relationships and service user outcomes in mental health rehabilitation: Dr Katherine Berry, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester 

Current Psychological Understanding and Treatment of Avolition-Apathy and Anhedonia: Dr Hamish J McLeod, DClinPsy Programme Director, University of Glasgow 

Applying a Psychological Model of care to Acute Mental Health Services: Dr Sean Harper, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lothian 

Understanding impaired treatment decision-making capacity in the context of psychosis: Dr Paul Hutton, Associate Professor of Therapeutic Interventions, Edinburgh Napier University 

Implementing Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT) with a cohort in an inpatient Rehabilitation Unit: Dr Allison Blackett, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS GG&C 

Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT), Experiences of implementation in inpatient rehabilitation services: Dr Ian-Mark Kevan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS GG&C
Link to Storify of tweets on the day

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

#EmpowerApp launch event Glasgow engagement; Future Islands: Balance

Engaging virtually via tweet with Empower App launch Glasgow Kelvin Hall while listening to The 6 Music Festival highlights (thanks to Simon Stuart for link!), this song in particular captured the moment for me:

Information about Empower event:

Link to Event Presentations

See Empower Study website.


Some of my tweets from the day:


Monday, 20 March 2017

#BeingSupervised "keep exposing yourself ... ultimately very fruitful"

Getting back into Being Supervised book:

Saturday, 18 March 2017

is psychiatric treatment a form of self harm? and other questions

Talking to myself again on twitter, asking these questions and answering some:

Friday, 17 March 2017

on providing a safe house for my son

Since the psychiatric abuse of February 2012 I've been providing a safe house for my son, in our home, as his full-time Carer/caregiver.  No support from social services or community nursing teams despite having completed a Carer Assessment form in 2012.  And no Carers' Allowance since 2015 when I received my basic State Pension.  We live in a council house in a Fife village and can't afford to run a car now, after 40 years of doing so.  Which means getting the local bus which runs by Stratheden psychiatric Hospital where my son was abused.

Today we have another DWP Atos Healthcare Assessment interview for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) which used to be called Disabled Living Allowance (DLA).  The last interview was halted by us before it started, due to the assessor not having read my son's PIP application form, saying it was "too lengthy" and she didn't have time to read it all.  We were not confident in the professionalism of the assessor, her dismissive attitude and behaviour.  And complained to her line manager who organised another interview appointment, there and then.

My son had received two DWP letters about his benefits, PIP and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance), in December, just before Christmas, which was very stressful and ruined our holiday time.  This process unsettled my son and caused him undue distress, the wording in the DWP letters came over as threatening.  The forms had to be completed by the end of the year.  My son spent Christmas recalling his worst days, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, and his years of treatment in Stratheden Hospital, the physical health issues which exacerbated his mental health condition and led to him having a mental disorder diagnosis.

The threat of losing your social security benefits, your livelihood as a disabled person, cannot be underestimated in terms of the impact upon mental health and wellbeing.  It was bad enough to be dehumanisingly treated in a locked seclusion room, locked in for hours on end, broken hand untreated, in the dark, no toilet or water or food, having to defecate on the floor because no-one listened to your cries for help.   Then being punished, pushed face down in his own excrement, anus penetrated, for doing a dirty protest.  Resulting in a glandular infection and painful veruccas, requiring treatment months after hospital discharge.

The dirty protest (or shitey as the other patients called it) proved the Ombudsman case, that my son had been left unobserved in locked cell with no toilet, and I "won" an apology from NHS Fife, albeit a grudging one-line written sentence in a letter October 2014.  I had been complaining about my son's treatment since 1 February 2012 when he was removed from Lomond Ward, Stratheden, in his bare feet and underpants, by 2 Porters, in a minibus, up to Ward 4/IPCU where he was locked in the seclusion room (unknown to me at the time), having been forcibly injected twice with Midazolam (my son is asthmatic, has had 3 collapsed lungs, a very risky procedure).

In fact I didn't know there was such a thing as a locked seclusion room, despite having engaged with Stratheden since 1995 when my oldest son was a Lomond Ward inpatient and 2002 when I was also an inpatient in that ward, briefly.  After my son's discharge from Stratheden, April 2012, I heard the full story of his sub-human treatment, in flashbacks from my son, for a long time.  It was very difficult to listen to.  That same year an Adult Protection Investigation report led by Fife Council Social Work Service blamed me for causing "psychological harm" to my son.  I had to do an FOI request to get a copy of the report. 

I'm now planning a PhD researching Safe haven crisis Houses in the UK and abroad, starting September at the University of Edinburgh, Clinical Psychology department [PhD diary].  Aiming to gather evidence of good practice, through a mapping exercise and case studies, ethnographic and narrative research, to find out what works, in terms of providing safe houses for people in psychoses and/or extreme emotional distress due to life trauma.  I want to influence the development of safe houses in Scotland, alternatives to psychiatric inpatient treatment. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

London 6-8 Mar17: #MaryChambersBookLaunch; Chelsea FC; engagements & networking

I set off on bus, train, tram and plane to London, Monday 6 March 2017, for a book launch 6pm on the Tuesday 7 March in St George's, University of London, Hunter Wing: 'Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: The craft of caring' edited by Professor Mary Chambers.   

Dr Rosie Stenhouse and I had co-authored Chapter 3: Developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships. Rosie is one of my supervisors on PhD starting September, which has the aim of researching Safe Haven Crisis Houses in the UK and abroad.
with Prof Mary Chambers

photo taken at book launch 7Mar17

with Kati & Sarah, fellow writers


with Guilaine at Euston

While in London I organised a catch-up with friend and colleague Guilaine Kinouani (who'd invited me to speak at the Minorities Conference in London BPS Offices, Tabernacle St, 5 July 2016).  

Guilaine describes herself as "Feminist. Therapist. Analytically Minded Critical Psychologist." and writes on Race Reflections.


Tuesday morning I'd dropped by Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge, my grandson's favourite fitba team, to take photos and visit megastore.

Lunchtime Tuesday I met with Prof Diana Rose at King's College, to discuss mental health service user/survivor research and the Professor's academic work, nationally and internationally, and her recent Principal Investigator research funding award from Wellcome Trust, £586,164: User-Led Research in Mental Health: history, impact and current configurations.


Facebook photo albums

#MaryChambersBookLaunch 7Mar17 St George's University of London

visiting Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge 7Mar17 London

London selfies 6-8Mar17

London photos 6-7 Mar17
Photo selection:
Chelsea FC

Imperial War Museum
Royal Festival Hall cafe, exhibition Missing from History on pillars
on Millennium Bridge


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Case Ref: SG7468: engaging with Stephen Gethins SNP MP North East Fife

 Notes for meeting 3 March 2017 with MP Stephen Gethins in Cupar Tesco Cafe:



I had requested a meeting with Stephen Gethins MP North East Fife to discuss our recent aborted interview with Atos Healthcare and very stressful DWP letters prior to Christmas, demanding that my son complete ESA and PIP forms or his benefits might be cut.  

Firstly I phoned Mr Gethins' office, spoke to Steven Marwick who told me to write an Email, which I did, got no response, so resent.  Eventually I received this response last night at 7.52pm, out of office hours:

to which I responded this morning, copying in various others:

Saturday, 25 February 2017

proposed Workshop Abstract for RCPsych Medical Education Conference Belfast Sep2017

I'd noticed the Annual RCPsych Medical Education Conference in Belfast 21-22 September 2017 being promoted on twitter and expressed an interest in facilitating a workshop, not thinking I had any chance of being listened to.  And Dr Kate Lovatt, Dean of Royal College of Psychiatrists responded, encouraging me to put in a submission.

And so I did.  Here is the Abstract:

If successful with the submission I would like to use this opportunity to ask questions which would help inform my PhD research into safe haven crisis houses, therapeutic alternatives to psychiatric inpatient treatment for people experiencing psychoses and/or emotional distress.


Reactive psychoses revisited by Gabor Sandor Ungvari, Paul Edward Mullen; Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2000; 34:458-467 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of willful blindness; March2013 @TEDTalks

"Gayla Benefield was just doing her job — until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the US. But when she tried to tell people about it, she learned an even more shocking truth: People didn't want to know. In a talk that's part history lesson, part call-to-action, Margaret Heffernan demonstrates the danger of willful blindness, and praises ordinary people like Benefield who are willing to speak up

Management thinker

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead organizations and managers astray. Full bio"

Saturday, 11 February 2017

'Developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships': Rosie Stenhouse & Chrys Muirhead

Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: The craft of caring: edited by Mary Chambers; 21 March, 2017; CRC Press

Chapter 3: 'Developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships': Rosie Stenhouse and Chrys Muirhead

First two pages of chapter:


Book launch: 7 March 2017 at St George's, University of London

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

#Methodology 8Feb17 Research Design: Shaping the Study; being radical

Studying Chapter 7 of 'a student's guide to Methodology' book on way to Dundee Olympia for gym and swim; stopping off at Cupar Library to take notes, a help for PhD research proposal.

[spelt #Methodology wrong! eventually corrected it]


Sunday, 5 February 2017

#HistoryBeyondTrauma "Fear of a crisis can lead to the killing of speech"

Monday, 30 January 2017

ethnographic study #GroundedTheory get involved! entering into it #HenriBergson

Grounded Theory in Ethnography and Intensive Interviewing pages 21-26, Kathy Charmaz 2006; evening study, 29 January 2017.

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." Henri Bergson


Time and Free Will: An essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness; Henri Bergson Feb1888

Mind-Energy, lectures and essays; Henri Bergson, 1920