Saturday, 6 September 2014

Tayside Carers Support Project (Support in Mind Scotland) Newsletter with ECT piece

Here is a link to the Tayside Carers Support Project Summer Newsletter with it's paragraph about their visit to the "ECT Suite at Murray Royal Hospital on 16th June 2014" and a screenshot of the piece:

And here are my comments from a previous blog post about concerns regarding the TCSP representation of ECT not being balanced:

"Firstly the observation about the room being "well equipped for the treatment".  What did this mean?  Then the comment about "myths and misconceptions" being "allayed".  What did that mean?  Finally the comment about "feeling much more informed".  My concern is that this piece promotes ECT in a positive light without any of the risks associated with it.  Not least the fact that people can be forcibly treated with it.

Electroconvulsive Therapy is a contentious treatment because it consists of an electric shock to the brain, performed under anaesthetic, causing a fit to the person, and doctors still don't know how it works.  And it doesn't cure anything, rather it causes short term memory loss and also longer term memory loss for some people.  (new pain for old)

Two thirds of people getting ECT in Scotland are women and the mean age is around 57.  One third get ECT involuntarily, against their will, and a percentage of people get "maintenance" ECT which means they get it again.  

More details can be found on the Scottish ECT Accreditation Network website.  Here is their latest summary report, with some quotes from it, words in brackets are mine:

"In 2012 there were 362 patients who received ECT, relating to 434 episodes of treatment"

"The majority (68%) of episodes involved patients who were capable of giving informed consent (therefore 32% were not capable of giving informed consent or were defined as "without capacity" and given ECT against their will)"

"Overall, 67% of patients showed a definite improvement after completing an episode of ECT (therefore 33% didn't show definite improvement)"

"Critical incidents occurred in five (0.1%) treatments"

And here are my comments in the previous blog post about the letter I received from Support in Mind's Chief Executive when I raised a complaint:

"I'm not happy with the response.  It personalises my stance and takes a patronising tone.  It's not the first time I've had this type of response from SIMS when raising concerns.

Here is my closing remark in an Email sent today to the chief exec:

"I am not speaking from "difficult personal experience" in this Email.  I am speaking as a professional, a reflective practitioner, a qualified community educator and care lecturer, a writer, activist and campaigner.  Please do not personalise everything I say."

I recommended they train up their staff in how to write balanced and factual reports.  Carers will have a wide range of views and deserve to be represented professionally and treated equally, with respect."

And here is the Support in Mind Scotland logo which says "action for people with mental illness":

and a quote from their website which declares their purpose:

"Support in Mind Scotland works to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people affected by serious mental illness. This includes those who are family members, carers and supporters. 

We seek to support and empower all those affected by mental illness."

I do hope that other people who are affected by "serious mental illness" are receiving "support" and empowerment from this organisation even if I'm not.

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