Thursday, 29 October 2015

WARM presentation by Susanne Harder

Prof Lawrie
Strapline of an Email just sent to Professor Stephen Lawrie, kingpin of the Scottish Mental Health Research Network, lead psychiatrist at Edinburgh University, practising medic and no doubt still with links to pharmaceutical companies which only his taxman has the full details about (according to Dr Lawrie in a presentation which I heard him deliver some time ago). 

And here is the body of the Email, copied to various cohort and others, some hidden from sight:
"Dear Professor Lawrie

I am writing to express my concerns about today's event, in particular the presentation by Ms Susanne Harder.  I speak to you as a very experienced children's and youth worker, for over 20 years.  With postgraduate qualifications in community education and FE lecturing, care subjects.  And as a mother and grandmother.  

From the beginning of Ms Harder's talk I was not in agreement with the "facts" or suppositions that she presented to us.  The photos of babies and toddlers that she claimed were proof of problems with attachment were utterly ludicrous.  But what is even more concerning is that you are misleading young people in training and others who work with children, in terms of mental health matters.  You, as in the Scottish Mental Health Research Network.  You who have links with drug companies, or at least you did have.  As in, money, money, money.  You who are a leading psychiatry lecturer at Edinburgh University.

I also speak to you as a mother, who has recovered 3 times from so-called "psychoses", puerperal and menopausal, the stigmatising diagnoses and the forceful, abusive, psychiatric drug treatment that I was subject to, various invasions to my body, against my will.  Why?  Because I didn't want to swallow the drugs.  Which take away a person's agency and decision-making abilities.  My resistance was met with by force. 

Just like today when you came up at the lunch table and pointed your finger, telling me I should leave.  In front of everyone.  Humiliated by a highly paid psychiatrist.  Because I dared to heckle and speak out against false teaching.  Shame on you.

Ms Harder's talk was very upsetting to listen to.  Her misrepresentation of children's behaviour, wrapped up in psychobabble.  I may have laughed in parts because of my astonishment that the woman could believe in what she was saying.  If I didn't laugh I would have cried.  In fact I did cry later, in a cafe.  I was targeted in the lunch queue by others.  Who patronised and even bullied me.  A culture of disrespect towards elders, mothers and women.  

People at your event who know me did not dare approach me for fear of being tarred with the same brush.  (the same thing happened at your 2013 conference)  You and your cohort have created a culture of fear.  People are feart to be critical.  Feart to say what they think.  Easier to blame a mother for daring to speak out and complain.  The irony of inviting a speaker on resilience when you do not foster a culture that has any room for the quality of resilience.  You have lost the plot, it has to be said.  And I am not feart to say it Doctor.

For I am resilient and it's why I speak out.  You are all up the creek without a paddle (I say "you" as a collective entity).  It's not funny to be inviting foolish people to perform for your pleasure.  To make you look better.  It didn't work.  So keep taking the money.  I wish you well on it. 

You may have made a fool of Ms Harder BUT you made a bigger fool of yersel.  In my opinion.  And I am entitled to my opinion Steve.

I will have more to say on this.

Regards, Chrys"

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Music as a preventive strategy for public health: a one day seminar 23 October 2015 Glasgow @ScotMusicHealth

The Scottish Music and Health Network is holding an event 'Music as a preventive strategy for public health' on Friday 23 October 2015 from 10:00 to 16:30 in the Technology and Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RD

A day of presentations highlighting current research around using music to maintain health and wellbeing, and examples of practice in this area from around Scotland and elsewhere. The event is aimed at music practitioners, healthcare professionals, academics and interested members of the public.

Presenters will include: Svend Einar-Brown (Big Big Sing), Shelly Coyne (Giving It Laldie), Allan Farmer (WHALE Arts), Dr Tara French (Glasgow School of Art), Chris Harkins (Glasgow Centre for Population Health), and Dr Douglas Lonie (BOP Consulting).  Full programme details & timings will be available shortly.


The Scottish Music and Health Network (SMHN) is a collaboration between Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian Universities, funded by the Carnegie Trust to facilitate high-impact research on links between music and health. As well as maintaining communication between researchers, practitioners and public through these webpages, SMHN programmes events in order to publicise and inspire new research in this field. SMHN’s objectives are:

  • To create active research infrastructure for Scottish researchers in the areas of music and/or health, focusing on collaborations across disciplines and institutes
  • To set up pathways for translation of music and health research into practical applications
  • To set up knowledge transfer channels between researchers, practitioners, patients and the general public
  • To establish and publish best-practice guidelines for the development of evidence-based music interventions to benefit health
Research for the Scottish Government  has shown that those participating in cultural activities report better health and satisfaction with life, and SMHN aims to build on existing research strengths to establish Scotand as a world leader in the emerging field of music and health.


Music as a preventive strategy for public health: a one day seminar 

Friday October 23rd 

09:30   Welcome & Registration

10:00   SMHN team: Music and Public Health Research

10:15   Douglas Lonie, BOP Consulting

The tyranny of conscious thought – theory, policy and practice in participatory music projects

10.35   Allan Farmer, WHALE Arts

Music in Mind: making music and staying healthy in Wester Hailes

10.55   Performance: Musicians from Sensatronic (SENSE Scotland)

11.10   Coffee

11.40   Katherine Waumsley, Common Wheel

Common Wheel: Community Music in a Mental Health Care Context

12.00   Giorgos Tsiris, Nordoff Robbins, London/Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Music in health promotion and death education: Perspectives from community music therapy

12:20    SMHN team roundup

12:30    Lunch

13:30   Performance: Sing for Life Speyside choir

13:45   SMHN Introduction

Community singing:

13:55   Tara French, Glasgow School of Art

Promoting health and wellbeing through community singing

14:15   Svend Einar-Brown/Siobhan Clark, Glasgow Life

Big Big Sing; what impact could community singing have on wellbeing in Glasgow?

14:35   Shelly Coyne, University of Edinburgh

We’re Givin’ it Laldie : Can Community Singing Improve Wellbeing in an Area of Multiple Deprivation in Glasgow?

15:00   Coffee

15:30   Chris Harkins, Glasgow Centre for Population Health

Evaluating Sistema Scotland – approaching complexity, recognising different forms of evidence and embedding a life course study of impacts

15:50   Discussion: Improving and maintaining public health with music

16:20   SMHN team: Network update

16.30   Close

MSc in Music Therapy at Queen Margaret University

"This is a full-time two-year course, validated by the Health and Care Professions Council
Teaching at the QMU campus is normally over two days, with a further day dedicated to practice placement. Students need to allocate a significant amount of time for independent study. Music and psychoanalytic theory form the basis of this training. The course encompasses psychodynamic, humanistic, developmental and music-centred approaches to music therapy. 

Lectures in theoretical studies are shared with students from MSc Art Psychotherapy (international). ..."

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Cupar Rail Station WIP

Springfield to Stratheden photos yesterday

Walking in the sunshine yesterday along country paths and through the grounds of Stratheden psychiatric hospital:

looking towards Tarvit Hill

on path

on path

view from path

path outside hospital
tree in hospital grounds

path inside hospital grounds
tree in hospital grounds
in hospital grounds and plants below

golf course grounds

near railway station
near station

Elmwood golf course

Stratheden opp kitchens

Stratheden near old nurses home

Monday, 19 October 2015

Consent to Treatment: W Hunter Watson; 18Oct15

Here is an Email received this morning from Hunter Watson, Aberdeen human rights campaigner, and accompanying documents below:

Strapline: Consent to treatment; 18 October 2015 

"Dear Alison,
                Thank you for your letter of 13 October in which you confirm that
Jamie Hepburn visiting pharmacy
you have provided Jamie Hepburn with a copy of my paper "Antipsychotic guidelines for dementia patients 2". I now attach reports of two court judgments and would be grateful if you could draw these to the attention of the Minister and suggest that either he reads them or that he instructs his officials to do so. These judgments clearly have implications for Scotland's mental health strategy.
    In the judgment relating to a refusal of treatment the report correctly notes that the judge observed that "Every adult capable of making decisions has an absolute right to accept or refuse medical treatment, regardless of the consequences of the decision. The decision does not need to be justified to anyone. Without consent any invasion of the body, however well-meaning or therapeutic, will be a criminal assault". 
     The judge's observation should be assessed in conjunction with the GMC consent guidance which stresses that there must be a presumption of capacity :"You must only regard a patient as lacking capacity once it is clear that, having been given all appropriate help and support, they cannot understand, retain, use or weigh up the information needed  to make that decision, or communicate their wishes".  The judge's observation should also be assessed in conjunction with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Person's with Disabilities and the General Comment on Article 12 issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
     I am not aware of any health professional being prosecuted as a consequence of having treated a patient without first having obtained consent. I am aware, however, of successful civil actions being raised by patients who suffered harm after being treated without having given their informed consent. They had not objected to the proposed treatment but might have done so had they been informed of the significant risks associated with the treatment. I attach a report of such a case. A jury in the USA awarded a woman $635,177 damages for long-term memory loss following electroconvulsive therapy. Although the report does not make the reason for the award completely clear it seems that there was a failure to warn the woman about the risks and that is likely to have been the main reason for making the award. It would have been unreasonable to have awarded damages for memory loss if the woman had been made well aware of that risk and had agreed to go ahead regardless.
     One implication of the attached reports is that it is never appropriate to treat a competent patient against his or her will. Hence section 242 should be deleted when the 2015 Mental Health Act is amended as should that part of the Act which permits electroconvulsive therapy to be given even if a patient resists or objects to the treatment: ECT is not the safe and effective treatment that its proponents claim it to be.
     Evidence from those who supported petition PE01494 on mental health legislation revealed that some psychiatrists made no serious attempt to assess the capacity of their patients to make decisions about medical treatment. The Code of Practice which replaces the Code for the 2003 Act should emphasise that this situation must change and that health professionals must seek not only consent, but also informed consent.
                                           Best wishes,

Landmark Decision: Jury awards $635,177 Damages for Memory Loss from Electroshock, 8 July 2005:

page one
page two
page three

Court of Protection upholds the right of a confused, lonely man to refuse treatment | UK Human Rights Blog; 13 October 2015, Rosalind English:

page one
page two
page three

"A north-east campaigner has warned health boards risk being taken to court for forcing mental health patients to undergo a controversial treatment.

If follows the Freedom of Information revelation that 15 patients in Aberdeen were forced to have electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly called shock therapy, in the 13-month period until the end of July.

ECT is a psychiatric practice in which electricity is passed through the brain in order to induce seizures and provide relief from certain mental conditions.

Retired lecturer Hunter Watson said non-consensual use of ECT is permitted under Scottish law even though the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has recommended it be banned. ...Read complete article
"A campaign to stop the force treatment of mental health patients is being taken to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland later this month.

Rev John Ferguson Peterculter
Retired lecturer Hunter Watson, of Aberdeen, claims people are dying as result of being detained and given anti-psychotic drugs against their will.

His campaign to stop the use of electric shock treatment – know as electric convulsive therapy (ECT) – came up against a brick wall when the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee decided it could take his petition any further.

Despite the rebuff, Mr Watson has soldiered on and won the support of a north-east churchman who has agreed to raise the issue with the Kirk. ..." Read complete article

Sunday, 18 October 2015

I no longer feel safe: Dr Peter J Gordon #HoleOusia

I no longer feel safe: Dr Peter J Gordon on his Hole Ousia website

Hole Ousia website

"I have reluctantly decided that I am no longer going to write any posts about NHS Scotland on Hole Ousia. I will however still continue to discuss health and wellbeing in the context of the “two cultures”.

My reason is that I no longer feel safe to speak out individually as an employee of NHS Scotland.

I will continue to advocate for transparency and accountability.

I feel very lucky to be a doctor. The NHS is so important to me. I have so many wonderful colleagues and I never cease to learn from the Scottish folk that I try to help when in a time of need.

I will always try my best to put patients first. That is the way I am. I do not agree with those who suggest that such a determination might be considered as a sign of illness.

Dr Peter J. Gordon"


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Hold Your Fire @cbcdocs

HOLD YOUR FIRE: Watch how UK police deal with a distraught man wielding a machete. Hint: It ends well. How would this...
Posted by CBC Docs on Friday, 16 October 2015

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Antipsychotic Guidelines for Dementia Patients (2): W Hunter Watson, July 2015

Here is a link to the Paper 'Antipsychotic Guidelines for Dementia Patients' (2) by W Hunter Watson, July 2015

"The use of these drugs in those with dementia has substantial clinical risk attached, including a conservative estimate of 1,800 extra deaths and 820 extra serious adverse events such as stroke per year."
Sube Banerjee, Professor of Mental Health and Ageing, King's College London

Received this morning in an Email from Mr Watson, sent to an MSP and copied to others, including me:


'Stand up to Mental Health Act' Letter by Hunter Watson, Sunday Express 12 October 2014:


Monday, 12 October 2015

'Revised Code of Practice for the 2003 Act': W Hunter Watson; October 2015

Hunter Watson
Here is a Paper received yesterday, written by Scottish mental health and human rights activist Hunter Watson, Aberdeen, sent to Colin McKay, Chief Executive at Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, copied in to various Members of the Scottish Parliament and other campaigners.

Hunter said:

"The joint report on the human rights of mental health patients in Scotland has motivated me to produce another paper which I attach: 


Interview: Hunter Watson in The Guardian, Saturday 13 October 2007: Mother knows best

concluding paragraphs:
"Watson claims he then discovered a second time that his mother was being given medicine without her consent or knowledge. No formal complaint was ever made, no investigation was ever held, but at Watson's insistence, his mother was never covertly sedated again. In 1999 she contracted cancer, and this time - to her son's surprise - she gave her own consent for pain relief. Although by then in an advanced state of dementia she was still quite capable, he points out, of making a "treatment decision" for herself. But as the pain relief levels increased, her mental condition deteriorated. "She would say, 'Where is Hunter?' I'd say, 'I'm Hunter.' She'd look puzzled. I'd say, 'the boy you used to look after', and that seemed to reassure her. She'd say, 'Yes, and now you're looking after me.'" In January 2000, Helen Watson passed peacefully away.

But by then her son had begun his campaign against covert medication, which has now taken him all the way to the Scottish parliament. New guidelines are under review, and he hopes to see the practice explicitly outlined in the near future. "I would like," he says simply, "Scotland to be the first country in the world to say, 'Look, this is wrong - it shouldn't happen.'"

He must have made himself quite a thorn in the side of many authorities - he is, in his own words, "a bit of a serial campaigner" - but even he seems slightly amazed that his long campaign may at last be about to rewrite the rights of the elderly. I ask if he has been fighting all these years for his mother, as a tribute, or memorial, to her. He looks at me in quiet astonishment.

"No," he says softly. "I'm doing it because it is wrong."

Friday, 2 October 2015

'Sixteen of the SNP's 55 MPs have financial interests in property' @heraldscotland 2 October 2015; my comment

'Sixteen of the SNP's 55 MPs have financial interests in property' 2 October 2015, Herald Scotland

"No fewer than 16 of the SNP's 55 MPs are boosting their £74,000 salaries by renting out property, according to Parliament records. 

Westminster's Register of Members' Financial Interests shows several of the party's new MPs let multiple properties. ..."

[read complete article]

This quote I found particularly galling: 

"Alex Salmond, the former First Minister, earns £108,000 per year from writing newspaper columns, according to the Commons register."

And here is my published comment: