Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Dear Dr Baldacchino: CAMILLE project work with children of "mentally ill" parents: "early tracing and prophylactic measures"

Letter just sent by Email to Dr Alex Baldacchino, NHS Fife and Dundee University, about the CAMILLE project which he and leaders at Playfield Institute, Stratheden, are involved with.

Dundee University page link

Strapline: Camille project work with children of "mentally ill" parents: "early tracing and prophylactic measures"

Dear Dr Baldacchino

I am writing to you as the main contact for the "Camille" project, a piece of collaborative work between NHS Fife and Dundee University, with European funding.  To ask for further information. 

Allan Burns, Chair of the Fife health board told me about this project today, when we chatted at lunch time during the board meeting in Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline

And so I did an internet search and came up with this description on the Middlesex University website:


"The main objective of the CAMILLE project is to qualify and promote inter-professional and cross-sectional efforts concerning exposed children and adolescents of mentally ill parents and their families in order to initiate early tracing and prophylactic measures, and promoting physical, psychosocial and mental health in general. The aim is to prevent the rise of children's or adolescent's psychosocial symptoms."  bolding is mine

Can you please explain in more detail about the phrase "early tracing and prophylactic measures"?  

I would appreciate any information that you can give me about the Camille Project.  I cannot find much detail about it from the Dundee University  website or from the Playfield Institute whose staff seem to also be partners eg Dr Wendy Simpson:

"With CARES, Wendy is working on the EU funded CAMILLE study – Empowerment of children and adolescents of mentally ill parents through training of professionals"

For your information, I was a youth and children's worker in communities for over 20 years (I'm now 62) and am a qualified community worker and FE lecturer, care subjects (postgraduate awards), a reflective practitioner.   Community work was always about empowerment and lifelong learning.  This meant encouraging resilience, independent thinking and facilitating learning.  Alongside people.  Level playing fields.

I am a psychiatric survivor and have recovered from "mental illness" on 3 separate occasions in my life, and have helped family members do the same.  I did this personally by tapering the psychotropic drugs, under my own strength, without the support of psychiatrists.  

I am now a mental health writer, activist and campaigner, and will put this Email in a blog post for others to see.  The psychiatric drugging of children and young people, who are under the age of capacity, very much concerns me.  I did not like swallowing psychotropic drugs.  They took away my agency and caused serious side effects in the short term.  I know that in the longer term these drugs cause physical illness and chronicity.  Giving such powerful drugs to children with developing brains, to my mind, is a step too far.

I look forward to hearing from you, and receiving information about the Camille project and Fife's part in this. 

Yours sincerely,

Chrys Muirhead (Mrs)

cc Wendy Simpson, Graham Buchanan, Graham Monteith, Paul Hawkins, Allan Burns, Valerie Muir"

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