Monday, 9 September 2013

banned from today's VOX AGM and conference

Today is the AGM and annual conference of VoX, which stands for 'voices of experience', who call themselves the Scottish national mental health service-user led organisation.  Or FoG, another arm of the government, as I call it. 

In July I sent an Email to VoX putting my name down to attend but got an Email back 2 weeks later, saying:

"Following a meeting of VoX Board on Monday 29 July 2013 it was decided that the VoX Conference and Annual General Meeting falls into two categories, the Conference is by invitation only and the annual general meeting is for members only. Unfortunately you do not fit either of these two categories and are therefore not able to attend."

In other words, I was banned.  Excluded.  Cast out.  For daring to have a critical voice.  Heaven forbid.  That I should not agree with the 'majority' view, which is that coercive psychiatric treatment is OK and necessary in some cases.  

When my son experienced human rights abuses in a psychiatric locked ward in February 2012 VoX neither challenged this nor stood with me.

Shame on you.


  1. I am on your side: I am against forced treatment for weeks and months. I am against grabbing and injecting. But just sometimes, for a day or two, the patient needs to be talked into taking medication against his or her will just to allow them to calm down and start thinking coherently after which they should always be allowed to make their own choice. There should always be someone there to talk to the patient and that is where the system fails. In my experience there is never anyone available interested in finding out why the patient broke down in the first place.

    1. Thanks for commenting. Yes I agree that communication is a good idea in psychiatric settings, however in my experience, like yours, this is sadly lacking. Easier to medicate or drug.

      I never liked taking the psychiatric drugs, they made me feel vulnerable, unlike myself and took away my decision-making abilities. They also depressed me, taking away hope and humour. I do believe there have to be alternatives to drug treatment for people who don't want to swallow the pills.


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