Friday, 15 November 2019

volunteering, helping others

I'm getting back into volunteering, helping others, through organisations, something I've always done, since the early days, in Rigside, Lanarkshire.  I did this in 2003 when recovering from psychiatric treatment, volunteering with Link East Fife Befriending Project and North East Fife Association for Mental Health, also Express Groups Fife and Barnardo's charity shop in Cupar.  The latter I got paid work with, a keyholder, before getting a job as a Relief Library Worker in NE Fife, on permitted work, 2005, then a FT post at Adam Smith/Fife College 2006.

Before this I had worked in the voluntary sector, various jobs over the years, with all ages of people and children eg Strathclyde Youth Clubs Association & Youth Clubs Fife, Age Concern & YMCA/YWCA Cupar, WRVS Kirkcaldy Youth Project.  I have also worked with and alongside Councils in Lanarkshire, Fife and Perth, in grassroots posts, alongside folk in communities.

And since 2008 I've worked voluntarily in mental health matters, setting up Peer Support Fife to promote recovery and more recently campaigning for better MH services by whistleblowing about Stratheden Hospital, resulting in a new £4.4m IPCU, Hollyview Ward, funded by Scottish Government.

I've retreated from mental health matters and frontline campaigning although still look on via social networks.  My interests these days are broader and include the social history of Dundee, creative crafts and fitness.  

Trottick Ponds Dundee walk 29Oct19
Swans at Trottick Ponds:

after swim at Olympia Dundee 25Oct19
at Lamb Gallery to view this exhibition 12Nov19

Alexander St Multis


Thursday, 7 November 2019

revolving door patients/psychiatrists

I saw this tweet yesterday, it came up up on my Notifications:

I made a series of twitter responses from my own Lived Experience before heading out to Dundee for a swim at the Olympia.  Then afterwards as I walked down the Hilltown I made a wee video and tweeted it:

I was annoyed at the inequalities, the throwaway tweet about being a revolving-door mental patient/psychiatrist, thinking of family members who got caught up in the psychiatric system, how tough it was for them and others like them.  


later on walking up the Perth Road Dundee

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

11yrs of mental health activism & campaigning summed up in 250 words

my story #HumansofScotland @ALLIANCEScot 28Oct19

The strapline: "I’ve had to learn to be more self-sufficient and to cope with the isolation of being a lone campaigner" which is very true.

"things didn't go to plan" after setting up vol org PS Fife for various reasons, one of them being my psychiatric abuse survivor history although at the time I described it as "recovery".  I was mature, well qualified and experienced in community development, working with all ages of people in various settings, so was used to leading, managing and having an opinion.  These abilities and skills were not valued in a person with Lived Experience in Scotland's mental health world in 2008.

2012 was a seminal year, my 60th, after which I wasn't the same person, exposing systematic psychiatric abuse by blowing the whistle.  It was a matter of survival and I had a tough battle on my hands.  I cared and it was costly.  I still care.

I'm so glad that my youngest son and I are still together, in solidarity, it's not been easy.  Well done Daniel Son!

Kirk Wynd Cupar 2008
Scottish Sunday Express 5Oct14
on my birthday in Edinburgh 28Sep14
Cupar Crossgate 17Sep17
Stirling Castle 1Jun19

Monday, 28 October 2019

my story #HumansofScotland @ALLIANCEScot 28Oct19

Chrys’s story

Section: Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

"I’ve had to learn to be more self-sufficient and to cope with the isolation of being a lone campaigner"

“In 2008 I set up voluntary organisation Peer Support Fife and my own website, to promote mental health recovery and the benefits of peer support, as a person with lived experience of surviving, recovering from, psychosis and psychiatric treatment 3 times in 1978, 1984 and 2002.

However things didn’t go to plan and by 2010 I was an unwaged Carer for my son and in 2012, after he experienced another mental health crisis, I became a complainer, campaigner and human rights whistleblower. And at the same time I became a fully-fledged writer, blogger and social networker, to speak out and to have a voice.

Eventually I won an Ombudsman case and apology from our local Health Board in the autumn of 2014, and they stopped using the locked seclusion room, having received £4.4million from Scottish Government to build a new IPCU following my activism. This ward was officially opened in July 2016 by the Minister for Mental Health.

I’m glad to say that my son, who lives with me, is in better mental health these days with only my support and occasional psychiatrist appointments since 2012, as we were abandoned by mental health services after I started raising complaints.

It’s been a very challenging 7 years and I’ve had to learn to be more self-sufficient and to cope with the isolation of being a lone campaigner and Caregiver, glad to have survived. This saying “What does not kill me makes me stronger” attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, rings true.”



Sunday, 27 October 2019

Friday, 25 October 2019

it's a long haul

yesterday on Claypotts Rd Dundee
... recovering from, surviving psychiatric abuse and living with "mental illness" 
caused by psychiatric treatment ... I'm just glad to be of help to family members, and to still be here to tell the tale.

Last night's sock knitting and TV watching:

After my usual daily swim at the Olympia Dundee, before going for a walk in the city:


Thursday, 24 October 2019

Designer Daniel Muirhead creates 3D models of Fife landmarks @fifeherald 23Oct19

Designer creates 3D models of Fife landmarks by Jamie Callaghan, Fife Herald, 23 October 2019  [my son Daniel!]

The model of Cupar's Old Parish Church.
"A Springfield designer finished second in an international competition after reproducing 3D versions of local landmarks.

Daniel Muirhead (35) took part in a competition run by Italian firm 3Dflow, where entrants were tasked with creating the best 3D models using their photogrammetry software.

Photogrammetry involves taking a set of photos of a real life subject, feeding those photos into computer software, and the software then automatically reconstructs the real life subject as a virtual 3D model.

Daniel, representing Scotland, earned a place in the final, where he entered 3D models of Cupar’s town centre, Dundee’s Howff burial grounds, and Arbroath’s Western Cemetery Mortuary Chapel. The international panel of judges awarded Daniel second place, with a prize including a bundle of software licenses worth more than £4000.

“I entered for fun so to place second was a pleasant surprise, especially given the high level of quality within the competition,” Daniel said. 

“It was a privilege to represent Scotland and I have no doubt that it was the beauty of our built environment, represented in the models, that was a major factor in my success.”

Daniel is now looking to reproduce town centres in Fife, whether as models or virtual reality environments.

Anyone groups interested in using Daniel’s skills to recreate a town centre, or any prospective funders or investors, can reach him at"