Thursday, 8 January 2015

another Email sent this morning, this time to the Director of See Me Scotland

I was planning to attend the Human Rights Workshop organised by See Me Scotland, anti-stigma mental health campaigning organisation, on 15 January 2015.  Because the human rights of the "mentally ill" is a cause close to my heart.  However I had to give my apologies:

"Dear ......

Unfortunately I must give apologies for attending this See Me workshop on human rights.  It's disappointing as I had hoped to be involved.

The reasons are threefold. 

Human rights in mental health is a very important topic for me and I am not convinced that the workshop programme content and delivery will hold my interest.  That it will have the range and type of information that I am looking for.  I note the speakers, some of whom I know well, and this has influenced my decision not to attend.  My participation I think would not be of benefit either to me or to others.  

Secondly, Glasgow takes 3.5 hours travel for me, both ways, totalling 7 hours, from my home in a village, NE Fife, and as an unpaid carer and voluntary activist the trip has to be worth the effort.  I much prefer these days to stay at home and write if the alternative is too taxing or challenging.  I had watched the video of the first workshop and wasn't impressed.  I was looking for something more inspiring and motivating.  To shift stigma will require this, I believe.

Thirdly, there is another event on the same day, in Edinburgh, which I'd like to attend, on the topic of 'Psychological management for people at risk of psychosis: From bright idea to NICE guidance'.  This might be a learning experience.  I'm always keen to learn and to have my mind stretched.  It stops me from being bored and at the same time helps with the writing, activism and campaigning.

I attended the Scottish Parliament debate on mental health on Tuesday, spectating from the public gallery.  There was much talk of stigma and of the See Me 2013 survey with Richard Simpson MSP saying "attitudes have gone backwards".  I wasn't surprised as I know that stigma is alive and kicking, and it starts in the seat of power, in psychiatric settings where people are labelled and forcibly drugged, declared to be "without capacity" if resistant and "non-compliant".

All the best in 2015, Chrys"

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