Friday, 20 July 2018

taking photographs

was thinking of language used when taking photos:
  • shoot
  • capture
  • expose
  • crop/cut
  • edit
  • focus
  • photobombing
  • flash
  • selfie
  • zoom 
  • snap
  • burst
how I took up photography more seriously after my son was abused in Stratheden Hospital IPCU locked seclusion room February 2012 and I was getting brushed off by NHS Fife Managers when meeting with them to complain.

I particularly remember a meeting at Stratheden with the General Manager where I felt disempowered and marginalised while he just sat there, doing nothing to help me get justice for human rights abuses against my son, because he didn't have to.  And so I decided to start capturing the hospital grounds environment outside, since I couldn't do anything about the inside, and put photos in a new blog, taking back the power:
 
Stratheden Hospital blog first post Saturday 28 July 2012: photos taken 16 July 2012





Having a camera on mobile device has helped me to be empowered and to take back the power.  I've got used to taking lots of selfies and tweeting them, in effect saying I woz here!  I also do wee videos on the move, recording my thoughts in action.  It's liberating, I find, to have the technology on hand to shoot and capture what's in front of me, or behind.  Good practice should I ever have to advocate for family members again in a psychiatric ward and witness patients at risk of exploitation.

Six years ago my son was mentally, physically and sexually abused by psychiatric Nurses and they got away with it.  I won't be letting it happen again to any of my family.  If Nurses dare to bully, intimidate and surround me in numbers then I shall capture their image and broadcast it to the world, there and then.   And if they lay a hand on me then I shall report them to the Police, for assault.

Being a practised mobile phone snapper gives me the power to expose bullies should the occasion arise when my space is invaded.  I do many shots on the move, walking, even jogging, from place to place, on buses and trains, in streets and buildings.  It's a skill that I'm glad to have gained and is useful when tweeting and writing blog posts.   

A selection of photos from last week's travels:

 
from Aberdour Castle
Pictish stone Meigle Museum

Broughty Ferry with bike
Dundee's new rail station entrance

Thursday, 19 July 2018

#ActiveMinds Glasgow: Safe Houses for Psychosis presentation 18July2018

Yesterday I did a 5min presentation at the Active Minds workshop in the Queen Elizabeth Teaching & Learning Centre, Glasgow, as part of the Panel talks.  

 
Here are the slides on my website with hyperlinks:
http://www.chrysm-associates.co.uk/images/active%20minds%20chrys%20muirhead%20safe%20houses%2018Jul18.pdf

and slide images:






--------------------------

Website hyperlinks

Slide 1:

my main blog Chrys Muirhead Writes

my twitter account @ChrysMuirhead

my son Daniel Muirhead's Flickr account 

Slide 2:

'HOSPITAL HORRORS: Patient locked in cell with no toilet, food or water' front page piece in Scottish Sunday Express, 5 October 201, about my son's sub-human treatment in the locked seclusion room of Stratheden Hospital, Fife

Jeff Hawke: Overlord; 2008 republication by Titan Books of my Dad Willie Patterson's scripted sci-fi comic strip stories originally written for the Daily Express, Fleet St, London 1956-69

Slide 3:

my knitting page on blog 

my cycling page on blog

Slide 5:

my Safe Houses for Psychosis blog

a selection of my son Ed (Edwin) Muirhead's websites:

Face the Music therapy
Dundee Piano teaching, learning
Ed Muirhead songwriter, piano player, drummer, singer

my SoundCloud recordings singing with guitar eg

 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

the biggest ARSE (at risk state experience)

I've just noticed a tweet about setting up an ARMS (at risk mental states) service and felt compelled to respond:






And it's got worse over the years, not better, I think because of the emphasis on biological psychiatry, big pharma profiteering, mental health law justifying coercive treatment and the safeguards not being safe, to name but a few.  It was easier to recover in 1978.


Monday, 16 July 2018

knitting Betsy Bunny; a travel companion 😊

Facebook album of knitting Betsy Bunny

Some photos:




 








first outing in Stagecoach 16Jul18 🐰
then to Cupar Tearoom:
 



Friday, 13 July 2018

remember to be grateful #EmpowerProject Schizophrenia volunteers [guinea pigs]

This is an exhortation to the people with lived experience of Schizophrenia taking part voluntarily in the Empower Project led by Chief Investigator Professor Gumley (on a salary scale at University of Glasgow of up to £110K/annum), to show their appreciation for being involved, for receiving remuneration and/or expenses.  

In my experience it doesn't pay to voice discontent or to challenge poor quality sandwiches or tea in coffee flasks, to gripe about travel expenses which are incorrect or given in small change.  The expectation is that mental health service users/survivors and carers will put up with marginalisation just for the privilege of being invited.  And don't dare criticise the academic writings of the Professor or you may be in deep water.

[Staying Well After Psychosis which in my opinion is cobbled together with very little original thought, I really should consider writing a book in response but there are so many other more interesting activities in life which are grabbing my attention these days]

leaving DClinPsy Gartnavel 4Jul17
I dared to be myself at DClinPsy Glasgow meetings, eventually, after years of trying to fit in, putting up with constraints and marginalisation, although in my defence I was fighting complaints against NHS Fife for abusing my son February 2012 in a locked seclusion room with no toilet, water or light.  I did hope that my qualifications and experience of being a community educator and facilitator of learning would eventually result in paid teaching/lecturing opportunities.  But there were no level playing fields and I wasn't really welcome.  It had to be faced, I didn't meet the criteria, wasn't grateful enough.

I'm still very annoyed at the manipulation and undermining by the senior male DClinPsy academics I've engaged with in Scotland, at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Napier Universities.   I took a bit of a bruising and battering, and bear the scars of the battle, in my quest to be respected as a survivor Mother and campaigning whistleblower.  It wasn't to be.  They seem to prefer victims.


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

FOI request: Empower Project funding; updated with response received from University 11Jul18

Email sent just now, 14 June 2018, to Empower Project Chief Investigator Professor Andy Gumley:

"Dear Professor Gumley

I am writing to you as Chief Investigator on the Empower Project with an FOI request about the funding.  I think this was £1.5million in total?  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I cannot see any details on the website about the funding application, breakdown of costs, salaries, expenses, monies paid to mental health service user groups, carers, family members, others linked to Empower project.

I would like a copy of the funding application, a budget, income and expenditure, timescales, any other financial information which would help me understand where the money has gone, is going.  I am interested in knowing if the academics involved in Empower project received monies in addition to their university salaries.  If so, how much?

I am particularly interested in the remuneration awarded to mental health service users, carers, family members who were recruited for the research.  How are/were they reimbursed for the time they spent doing tasks for the Empower project? 

Can you please confirm receipt of this FOI request?  Thank you.

Regards, Chrys"

cc Prof Pell; Simon Bradstreet


Chrys Muirhead
Safe Houses for Psychosis
writer, researcher, activist; cyclist, photographer, gardener, swimmer


BA Admin Management (best student); Postgrad Dip Community Education; Postgrad Cert TQFE (care subjects, 2008 Stirling University)​
@ChrysMuirhead

--------------------- 

Link to FOI response received 11 July 2018 from University of Glasgow 

I am writing to you as Chief Investigator on the Empower Project with an FOI request about the funding. I think this was £1.5million in total? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
No, the project has received a total of £838,170 from NIHR (National Institute for Health Research). Please see the following link:
https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hta/1315404#/


I did not receive a copy of the funding application, as requested, this was withheld, an "absolute exemption".

I did not receive information about the budget, income and expenditure, that was also withheld.

"However, you can find details of the project and protocol at the following link:
https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hta/1315404#/


3. Timescales: Currently, the study is funded until February 2019.

4. Any other financial information which would help me understand where the money has gone, is going.
There are a range of partner organisations in the UK and Australia. Only UK organisations are supported by the NIHR funding. These partners are listed on the web-pages at:
https://empowerstudy.net/partners-people-2/


I am interested in knowing if the academics involved in Empower project received monies in addition to their university salaries. If so, how much?
No payments in addition to salaries are being made. 


I am particularly interested in the remuneration awarded to mental health service users, carers, family members who were recruited for the research. How are/were they reimbursed for the time they spent doing tasks for the Empower project?
Participants are reimbursed for completion of each assessment in line with ethics approval.
Details are within the Participant Information Sheet at:
https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hta/1315404#/


Saturday, 7 July 2018

closing ranks

Paul Hutton (now Associate Professor at Napier University) in his series of Emails to me in May 2017, regarding the bullying culture in Edinburgh University Clinical Psychology (CP) department and the behaviour of Matthias Schwannauer mentioned the phrase "closing ranks" after he raised a complaint.  This rung a bell, thinking of what I'd been through with both psychiatry and DClinPsy programmes at Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, after raising complaints.

At the end of December 2014 I'd been bullied off the Glasgow user/carer CUSP group facilitated by Andrew Gumley when he wasn't there.  Other members took the opportunity to gang up on me, the topic of ECT, I'd recently written a blog post for Mad in America [Spearheading Doctors and the Re-introduction of Electroconvulsive Therapy for Children] on the resurgence of children getting shock treatment.  I had made an FOI request to Scottish ECT Accreditation Network to find out if any children in Scotland were receiving ECT.  The CUSP members said it would be only one or two which angered me, their attitude.  We were not on the same page regarding the treatment of children and so I left, complaining to DClinPsy programme director Hamish McLeod, now a Professor.

Around the same time I also left the Edinburgh DClinPsy programme as my voice was being marginalised and others with lived experience were seen as research fodder.  This came out at an event in the Playfair Library Hall, Edinburgh, when a CP academic from Edinburgh gave that reason for MH Service Users being invited.  I think she forgot that I used to be a service user!  Which is one of the reasons they won't want survivor voices in DClinPsy programmes.  We are independently minded and don't appreciate being research guinea pigs.

handknitted Donegal Aran Tweed socks for Andrew & wife
From around September 2015 when coming through another psychosis I engaged virtually with Andrew Gumley, befriended him, sent him and his wife craftwork gifts, sharing family photos and stories, he reciprocated, to some extent, and it was after this that I considered returning to DClinPsy programmes, giving it another go, also embarking on a PhD with Matthias Schwannauer as supervisor which he agreed to, Andrew Gumley offering to be an academic mentor.  It was attending the "Innovation" event hosted by Hamish McLeod that spurred me on to do the PhD.  

The PhD supervision soon broke down, mainly because of Schwannauer's behaviour and attitude.  I felt that he raised expectations then dashed them, was arrogant at a joint meeting in Feb17 with Gumley (said Life isn't fair and questioned my ability to write a 10K word essay), and then manipulated my other supervisor at what was to be our final meeting. My complaint was not upheld.  I want to be fair about what transpired and believe that it was Schwannauer who scuppered my PhD into safe haven crisis houses, and then McLeod who banished me from Glasgow DClinPsy programme, for no good reason, it could have been a peace process.  However Gumley could have improved the situation and didn't, on 4 July 2017 in his office, making out that I was "less than" then raising a complaint which he said was about his own facilitation but it resulted in my exclusion.  All of them closed ranks.  I raised complaints about Gumley and McLeod which came to nothing, unaccountable for their actions towards an unwaged Carer activist, whistleblowing campaigner.

A misuse and abuse of power, similar to what goes on in psychiatric settings.  They can do what they like because of their unassailable position.  The irony of Clinical Psychologist Lucy Johnstone and cohort pushing out their Power Threat Meaning Framework when her own profession is up to its neck in coercive treatment.  What difference formulation to diagnosis when those in power are not accountable, unanswerable to criticism?  And Johnstone with Watson is giving a platform to Schwannauer in Edinburgh on my 66th birthday, another slap on the face to a survivor Mother.


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

blinkered; eyes wide open

In my experience of over 50yrs (from after the birth of my wee sister in 1966, our Mother experiencing a psychosis and resisting going into hospital) the main issue has been the treatment (coercive drugging, shocking) not the diagnosis.  Therefore I think that the work of Clinical Psychologist Dr Lucy Johnstone is blinkered, encouraging division. Although I like Lucy as a person I find her teaching (preaching) difficult to thole, have to take my knitting out or leave the room.

I've engaged with Clinical Psychologists in Fife since 2004 and DClinPsy academics since 2009, it hasn't been positive.  In my experience they are in the business of keeping people in the system (with Mindfulness, CBT, IPT) rather than helping them/us take charge of our own mental health, speak out about system issues, and to taper the neurotoxins.  In my family the abuse and neglect happened in psychiatric wards, perpetrated by Nurses, under the authority of Doctors, more recently justified under Mental Health Law and in Notes.

I had a good upbringing, wasn't neglected or abused, an independently-minded child, free to roam about the streets of Perth with friends and return to the safety and security of my home.  My Mother was a homemaker, loving and caring, and her spells in Murray Royal psychiatric hospital did not disrupt my childhood, that I can remember, as my grandparents and other family were supportive.  

Mum, Dad, me & sister Frances c1963
[Photo taken with instamatic camera, my Dad Willie Patterson's new "toy", on an automatic timer, he ran around the back of us to get in the picture, hence my middle sister in highchair looking round at him.]

1986 Titan Books republication
My sisters who are much younger, 9 and 14yrs junior, may have a different opinion of their childhoods.  When I was 17 in 1970 our family was fractured by the death of my Granny, my Father sequestered since 1969 in London, his contract with the Daily Express, writing Jeff Hawke, was terminated, my Mother again in a locked psychiatric ward.

My family don't hear voices when experiencing psychosis, as far as I'm aware, although we are extra-sensitive to the environment, acutely aware of nature, sounds, smells, spiritual realms, with heightened imagination and increased insight.  I experienced another psychosis in 2015, after a complete breakdown, avoiding psychiatry and coercive drug treatment this time around, so can remember the altered mind states and heightened awareness of others, of insects, birds, sky, earth and possible secret agents going about their business! 😊  It wasn't scary, I reasoned it out that they were on my side, protectors.

It was far safer, I found, out in the real world coming through a psychosis than voluntarily going into a risky, mixed gender psychiatric ward with careless Nurses and exploitative patients, and vice versa.  I'd been through that already, 3 times, in the earlier episodes having my space invaded by forced injections, breasts bound to stop baby milk, avoiding ECT by escaping Hartwoodhill with my husband, resisting chatup lines by male patients when wearing 3 layers of pyjamas in dining room.   2002 voluntary inpatient stay Lomond Ward, taking the pills under duress, less risky than resistance and being injected, wearing clothes in female dormitory beds overlooked by male patients in single rooms, chatted up again at dining tables, this time fully dressed.


Express front page 5Oct14
I was given a Schizoaffective Disorder diagnosis in 2002 but wasn't aware of it until later, I might even have ignored it if psychiatrist Dr Carey had tried to discuss it.  I do remember him mentioning Bipolar but I resisted it so he probably pinned the other one on, in my Notes, without saying, to cover the Venlafaxine overdose and bone density loss, 6in metal plate right fibula.  In my experience the Notes only had any relevance when a mental patient (or if a family member was, as in 2012 when my Dx was used to justify Nurse abuse perpetrated on my youngest son; they got away with it).  In the real world outside psychiatric institutions when recovered and having left "services" behind they are irrelevant and not worth mentioning unless useful for getting a job.

The real crux of the matter is to do with psychiatry having too much power to abuse patients without being held to account for their actions.  Systematic abuse at will, using neurotoxin drug cocktails without any justification or evidence of efficacy.  Failing to keep patients safe and even trying to lay the blame for causing psychological harm on unwaged Carer Mothers who are then left to pick up the pieces singlehandedly, having been abandoned by local MH services for daring to raise complaints and to expose psychiatric abuse.  

Whistleblowing mental patients and their carers are the least protected and most at risk when speaking out the truth of what they've witnessed and been through at the hands of paid healthcare workers.  Not for the faint-hearted.

photo on Granddaughter's birthday gift card today! (me & number 3 son 😍)

Monday, 2 July 2018

quote: We had a fall-out after I defended one of my students, whom he had reduced to tears

Here are a series of Emails from May 2017 after supervision with Prof Schwannauer and Dr Stenhouse at the University of Edinburgh broke down and my PhD Clinical Psychology unconditional offer was withdrawn.  

Clinical Psychologist and academic Paul Hutton (Napier University) was a catalyst in my raising a complaint about the bullying culture in the Edinburgh DClinPsy programme and the behaviour of Professor Matthias Schwannauer.  His testimony spurred me on to engaging with, and asking for support from, Judy Thomson, Director of Psychology, NES, who fund and govern the doctorate.  I believed what Hutton had told me, about the effect of the undermining treatment on his confidence, it had happened to me, and I was concerned about trainees receiving the same treatment.

Ultimately I wasn't supported by either Judy Thomson or Paul Hutton during the complaints process and eventually was excluded from the Glasgow DClinPsy programme by Professors Gumley and McLeod, excluding myself from the Edinburgh DClinPsy programme because of marginalisation.  Whistleblowing about bullying cultures is a risky business and can lead to scapegoating and abandonment.  I knew this already from February 2012, after exposing the locked seclusion room abuses, perpetrated on my son, for which NHS Fife were awarded £4.4million.  


9May17 PhD unconditional offer withdrawn
my response re PhD withdrawn 9May17



response from Paul Hutton 9May17

I was surprised and concerned by this response from Paul, his mention of "a lot of students (past and current) who are very unhappy at the way they are treated by staff in Matthias' department" and his comments about "no real alternatives".  It flagged up issues.

Then on 15 May 2017 I forwarded some tweets to Paul Hutton about a Psychosis event which didn't involve him, wondering why, since he had organised a very good event February 2016 which I had attended.  


15May17 response from Paul Hutton flagging up bullying culture Edinburgh DClinPsy

In this Email Paul talks about students and staff being reduced to tears and 2 resignations following similar treatment by Helen Griffiths.  After this, on 23 May, I wrote to Judy Thomson:


Email to Judy Thomson, Director of Psychology, NES, 23May17

I raised the bullying culture issue with Judy who I'd met before in her Edinburgh office and hoped that NES would investigate, however this didn't transpire and I had to raise the complaint myself with the University of Edinburgh, theoretically with the support of NES but I did the work, attended a meeting with Professor Charlotte Clarke in her office, which cost me time, money and energy. 


Paul Hutton Email 23May17 which mentions his formal complaint about Schwannauer

In this Email Paul says about Edinburgh University: "very prone to closing ranks" and "if you complain, you're out!" and that they are well known throughout Scotland for this.

At first I was reluctant to go through with another complaint, remembering what it was like in Fife after the abuse of my son.  However after talking it over with my son I went ahead with it because of how I was treated, the undermining of my confidence, and the fact that trainees may also be subject to this.

30May17 Email to Judy Thomson, NES
 
30May17 Email to Paul Hutton

30May17 Email from Paul Hutton

In which Paul describes the effect that the bullying and undermining behaviour within the DClinPsy department at the University of Edinburgh had on him: "my confidence was also damaged ... I now realise there is something quite wrong in that particular department/ University" and says 7 other staff and students were also bullied by senior academics, and that he was "sure there will be others".

And so I proceeded with the Stage 2 complaint which wasn't upheld by Prof Clarke.  Paul had warned me that this Professor was a buddy of Matthias Schwannauer so I was unlikely to be treated fairly.  The minutes of my meeting with Clarke weren't accurate and neither were the Notes attributed to Schwannauer and Stenhouse at meetings they had.  I may at some point put all these minutes in a blog post to demonstrate the inaccuracies or lack of truth-telling.  

I got no justice from raising a complaint about the undermining behaviour of Prof Schwannauer and they did close ranks, at both Edinburgh and Glasgow University DClinPsy programmes.


Sunday, 1 July 2018

i shall not be moved - Mississippi John Hurt

book reviews

link to book info
The Sedated Society: The Causes and Harms of our Psychiatric Drug Epidemic; edited by James Davies 

"In February 2011 I travelled to Athlone, Ireland to hear Robert Whitaker lecture on his 2010 book ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic” and then invited Bob to Scotland and Cupar, Fife, to lecture on the same, November 2011, after which I became a writer on his ‘Mad in America’ blogging website from January 2012 until September 2015 when I withdrew.  I think this book is a rehash of many of the topics covered in Whitaker’s book but with far less input from survivor voices of ‘lived experience’.  There was only the Viscount’s chapter ‘Desperate for a fix’ and his aristocratic life in the Mapperton mansion cannot be compared to most of us who have struggled on and off psychiatric drugs. Therefore I’d like to have seen chapters written by grassroots survivor activists in their own words, unedited, describing the reality of living with and/or coming off neurotoxins.  This puts meat on the bones of scientific statistics and demographic details, helps give the reader a fuller picture of what it’s like to be disabled by psychiatric treatment.  I thought the chapter by China Mills on psychopharmaceuticals in India was fascinating although I note that the writer is an academic at Sheffield University and doesn’t work with an NGO in India."



--------------------------------
link to book info

A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Conflicts and Reconciliation in Groups and Society; edited by Gila Ofer

'“Traumas disrupt rhythms of life with cracks and disarray” [p120, Chapter 7, Marina Mojovic, “Untouchable infant gangs” in group and social matrices as obstacles to reconciliation]  I have to admit to feeling unqualified to critique this book as I’m not a psychoanalyst or psychologist and don’t live in an obvious war zone although I am a psychiatric survivor Mother and blogger, a whistleblower about abusive treatment in a Scottish psychiatric ward, and have worked in community development with groups since 1980.  There are so many layers to this storybook and collection of personal/professional perspectives that I cannot do it justice in 200 words.  I didn’t agree with some of the group facilitation methods but I may have done the same in such conflicted situations.  There was too much “hands on” or directive manipulation for my liking and the front cover illustration of the hand over the waters I think points to this.  The chapter on forgiveness by the book editor contained many “must”s, was directive, and her understanding of the topic isn’t mine, as a Christian.  I believe that the practice of forgiveness is of benefit first and foremost to the person who has been wronged, it brings peace, and does not require any action on the part of the other.  Justice is a separate matter and can be left to a higher court."


a slap on the face @dropthedisorder life isn't fair

I heard last night that Psychotherapist Jo Watson and Clinical Psychologist Lucy Johnstone have given a platform to Clinical Psychology Professor Matthias Schwannauer at the Edinburgh event they are running on my 66th birthday, 28 September.  It felt like a slap on the face and was upsetting.

A Disorder for Everyone!

"This day is for anyone who is interested in and concerned about the current debates in 'mental health.' It provides a space to explore the critical questions of the day around the biomedical model and the narrative of 'diagnosis and disorder!'"


I won't be going. 
Inside.

-----------------------------

Monday, 2 July 2018: "We had a fall-out after I defended one of my students, whom he had reduced to tears"

PhD withdrawn blog page

Tuesday, 9 May 2017: PhD Clinical Psychology University of Edinburgh - Withdrawal of Offer 9May17

"Life isn't fair Matthias, you are correct."
  
Thursday, 4 May 2017: "no way we can guarantee success": the breakdown of supervision; "slumbering time bomb"

Monday, 29 May 2017: disempowered

Monday, 19 June 2017: toxic supervision

"At the final supervision meeting on 2 May 2017, I felt ganged up on, undermined and bullied, my research proposal on evidencing Safe haven crisis Houses was questioned and criticised, and I was made to feel "less than".  This was particularly cruel because I'm a lone "worker", unpaid Carer, campaigner, writer, activist, with no team to back me up." 
 
Saturday, 28 April 2018: telling the truth, exposing psychiatric abuse results in banishment from DClinPsy
 
"There's no money to be made or jobs to be had if you are a whistleblower about systematic abuse in mental health settings.  It's not a good career move and won't make you any friends in academia.  Rather they will set you up to fail and poke fun at your straightforward ways and plain speaking.  They will assume the high ground with you and take every opportunity to manipulate, undermine and make out that you are "less than".  Then it will be all your fault."


on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, after my final meeting with PhD supervisors


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

FOI response: Untapped Potential research #VOXScotland; £40K funding

Response today 26Jun18 from VOX Scotland to my FOI request about the Untapped Potential research funding:

"Dear Chrys,
Thank you for your email in relation to the Untapped Potential Report http://voxscotland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/14183-Mental-Health-DRLL-Report-A4-Rev7.pdf

VOX, in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, the Mental Health Foundation and the Research Collective was awarded £40,000 in total fully from the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL). This was the world’s first major research programme led by disabled people which has disability related outcomes (agreed by the Big Lottery). 
The funding for the lived experience research collective (who created the questionnaire, wrote the report, and facilitated the focus group sessions) came to a total of £17,239.
The information about the focus groups, and statistics relating to the questionnaire are detailed within the report, together with the processes etc. Decisions about which areas we chose for focus groups were decided during a partnership steering group, and took into consideration a range of factors. The aim of the focus groups was to better understand the questionnaires findings.
Our aims and outcomes included for example, ensuring that people with lived experience were involved in the planning, preparation and facilitation of the research, and that the research itself identified barriers and developed recommendations to find solutions to those barriers.
Kind regards
Wendy
Wendy McAuslan
VOX’s Development Coordinator"

and my reply:

"Dear Wendy

Thanks for responding.

You say that the funding for the research collective came to £17,239, therefore I have to assume that the remainder of the £40K went to VOX, University of Strathclyde and MHF for management, governance etc?

I know that these amounts are peanuts compared to the funding that "scientific" academics receive in Scotland for Mental Health Research eg Prof Andy Gumley's Empower £1.5million project, the monies which Prof Stephen Lawrie and his colleagues at SMHRN/NRSMH  receive which amounts to millions.  In addition to their big salaries and other perks related to their positions.

However some of us are working for free to improve MH services in Scotland, it's even costing us to do so.  There's no money to be made in whistleblowing about psychiatric abuse or in advocating for people who are unable to speak up for themselves and/or may require the support of an independent voice.

Regards, Chrys

cc academics, civil servants"

--------------------------

Here is an FOI request Email sent last night, 13 June 2018, after attending the Untapped Potential Launch at the Insight Institute, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, to Lee Knifton, Head of Scotland at the Mental Health Foundation and joint lead at the Centre for Health Policy:

"Dear Mr Knifton

This is an FOI request.

I attended today's launch of the Untapped Potential Report Launch, Public Life Matters, at the Insight Institute, and have some questions about this.

Firstly can you please send me a digital copy of this report, I didn't pick up the glossy report before leaving to catch my bus back to Fife and cannot find a copy anywhere online.  Thank you.

I would like to know the funding amounts for this research, where it came from, how much was awarded from each funder, the total amount.  I would also like a copy of expenditure, wages paid to researchers, amount spent on resources for undertaking research, an income and expenditure balance sheet.

Can you please send me details of the research processes and outcomes, statistics about questionnaires, focus groups, numbers attended, in which areas of Scotland, how people were chosen.  I live in Fife and there was no focus group here. 

Can you please confirm receipt of this request, thank you.

Regards, Chrys

cc Neil Quinn; Wendy McAuslan"

Chrys Muirhead
Safe Houses for Psychosis
writer, researcher, activist; cyclist, photographer, gardener, swimmer



BA Admin Management (best student); Postgrad Dip Community Education; Postgrad Cert TQFE (care subjects, 2008 Stirling University)​
@ChrysMuirhead

----------------------------
 
Tweets from Untapped Potential Launch:




Last night on twitter I heard from a fellow Mother Carer who had also been at the launch and had read through the research report:

"From such a tiny sample of 249 Qrs & 20 participating in focus group over 6 areas in Scotland (average 3 per location) that authors of #UntappedPotential have determined that their 19 recommendations are correct to publish for the whole of SCOTLAND!!!

and 

"That was actually another thing I noted that for all the transparency & stretching of data to craft it into the glossy publication no mention of how much money was allocated 4 this lightweight research & what financial gain did 7 authors receive!

This spurred me on to make the FOI request to find out more information.  I was disappointed with the event, hadn't realised beforehand that the "research collective" was more of the same folk (usual suspects) with links to VOX Scotland, including their Development Co-ordinator Wendy McAuslan who project managed the research. 


I also had concerns about the way that people shared their personal experiences, disclosing.  I used to describe this as being a "performing monkey", having been in that position many years ago, manipulated by the organ grinder or paid worker.  It felt yesterday that we were going back not forward, in terms of MH user/survivor research.