Wednesday, 18 December 2013

strong arm tactics

In the mental health world locally where I live the response to critical voices or negative feedback, in my experience, results in strong arm tactics.

This can take the form, in psychiatric settings, of coercion and control, forced compliance and human rights abuse.  In the community at large it is more insidious in nature and can result in services where paid workers run "user-led" management committees, drop-in services have a "big brother is watching you" feel to them and locked door facilities claim to be protecting the service users.

As I have morphed into a survivor activist and human rights campaigner I seem to be more at the receiving end of this type of thing.  As if to warn me to keep quiet and sit still.  Just like school.  In the old days it could end with the belt as a deterrent.  I just made sure after the first time that I didn't get caught.

I had more of the same recently at local meetings which I find very difficult to thole.  The lack of insight is stifling.  It's impossible for me to take it lying down or with a straight face.  Like the jesters of old I employ a range of party tricks to raise awareness and deflate egos.  It doesn't go down well and that makes me feel better.

They seem to have no concept of "meaningful involvement" and think that we don't need any out-of-pocket expenses.  Yet they are on good money and in addition get their expenses covered.  They expect us to participate out of "goodwill".  I kid you not.  They've sat by and watched us being coerced and disabled by psychiatric treatment and we're meant to be grateful?

Welcome to my world.

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