Wednesday, 9 May 2018

my vision for Fife: women's crisis house; maternal MH unit; safe havens

Email sent this morning to Julie Paterson, Divisional General Manager, Fife-wide, Health & Social Care Partnership:

"Dear Julie

I am writing to you as Divisional General Manager, Fife-wide, because I've known you since 2008 when setting up Peer Support Fife and my own website Chrys Muirhead Associates to promote mental health recovery, and you had a remit for mental health, to share my vision for Fife, mental health wise.

Firstly I believe we need a women's crisis house, in the style of Drayton Park Women's Crisis House, Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust:

I was very impressed when visiting this resource in July 2016, meeting Shirley McNicholas who set it up in 1995 and still manages.  See photos.

Secondly I believe that Fife needs a dedicated Maternal Mental Health Unit for Mothers and babies.  I read this recent news piece from KingdomFM:

Last week was Maternal Mental Health week.  I follow Maternal Mental Health Scotland on twitter and they follow me:

Taking care of new and young mothers who have mental health challenges will benefit everyone in society, in Fife.

Thirdly I believe that Fife should have a number of safe havens in different geographic areas, places which are open out of hours, evenings and weekends, paid staff and volunteers/peer supporters, when usual services are closed, for people to drop by, have a cuppa and chat, be listened to.  Here are some examples:

I've visited the Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, Dial House, (May 2011) which is a safe haven model of support, no overnight stays but open 6pm-2am, Mon, Wed, Frid, Sat, Sun:

They train taxi drivers who bring in vulnerable folk, mostly women who can bring their children too.  I notice they now have a crisis cafe:

I plan to write about this, expand on it, in my blogs and on social networks, and will share my thoughts at the MH Engagement event next Tuesday in Glenrothes, when networking.  I still want to see alternative safe houses for psychosis, a different way of working with people experiencing altered mind states due to life trauma and stress, avoiding coercive drug treatment which doesn't suit all of us.  And for these to include neuroleptic, neurotoxin, prescribed drug/meds, tapering programmes.  I made a full recovery from psychosis and psychiatric treatment after inpatient stays in 1978, 1984 ( both puerperal) and 2002 (menopausal), tapering drugs/meds myself.  In 2015 I experienced another reactive psychosis after the years of campaigning, avoiding psychiatric treatment, a far more positive experience, where I twice took Lorazepam to regulate sleep and journeyed through the altered mind states, reasoning them out.  My life is more enhanced now because of it.

Yours sincerely,


cc Michael Kellet, Carolyn Walker, Margaret Hannah"

Shirley, me, Hannah, Drayton Park Womens Crisis House 19Jul16

Drayton Park road, London

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