Wednesday, 27 February 2019

telling my story to 'Future Nurses of Our Global Village' at Edinburgh University

Email I sent yesterday in response to one from Alliance Scotland, strapline of 'Future Nurses of Our Global Village' copying in Edinburgh University academics I know who are based at Doorway 6, Old Medical Quad, Teviot Place:

"Dear Kerry

Thanks for your Email and for the information.

It was in 2005 that I first shared my "lived experience" Story on the Scottish Recovery Network website which I now describe as surviving psychiatric treatment, back then as making a full recovery from mental illness.  This took me into Scotland's mental health world in 2008, setting up voluntary organisation Peer Support Fife:
and my own website for delivering recovery focused training:

Peer Support Fife
Chrys Muirhead Associates
However within a few months I soon discovered that my voice wasn't welcome unless it was controlled by those in power and I was silenced, excluded, bullied for speaking out, for having an opinion.  I was 55 years old in 2008, with a degree in Management, 2 postgraduate qualifications in Community Education and FE Lecturing, care subjects.  I had recovered from, survived 3 psychosis/psychiatry engagements in 1978, 1984 and 2002, had also supported family members in the same.  So I was a very experienced survivor and reflective practitioner. 

I soon was promoting MH user/care involvement and running events, in Fife, inviting international speakers, and then in 2012 I became a whistleblower, exposing locked seclusion room human rights abuses in Stratheden Hospital, eventually winning an Ombudsman case and a written apology from NHS Fife in September 2014.  I singlehandedly supported my son after psychiatric abuse and listened to his flashbacks, we were abandoned by Fife community MH services after I started raising complaints.  We still share a house, it's been a challenging 7 years, not least because of DWP assessments and my son experiencing another lung collapse and operation in 2017.  He was face down restrained twice by MH Nurses in February 2012, prone to collapsed lungs.  The outcome could have been much more serious, life threatening.  I am glad that we have both survived these difficult years. 

Copying in Dr Stenhouse, Prof Schwannaer and Prof Clarke who are based at Doorway 6 of the Medical Quad and may be involved in this project, for their interest.

Regards, Chrys"

Chrys Muirhead
carer, writer, storyteller, swimmer, cyclist, photographer, gardener, traveller


From Alliance Scotland:

"Dear member

The University of Edinburgh invites you to share your stories to help shape the future of nursing education. Nursing education across the UK is changing and the University of Edinburgh want your help to ensure that it’s nursing programme is grounded in voices of lived experience.

This event gives you the opportunity to share your stories with Nursing Studies staff. You will be supported to capture your experiences with nursing staff in creative ways – through photography, storytelling, podcasting or however you feel you can best express yourself. These will then be the foundation of a dialogue around how best to equip tomorrow’s nurses with the skills and ability to deliver the best care.

Agenda for the day:

12:15 – 12:30 – Welcome and Introduction
12:30 – 13:15 – Creative Storytelling (including lunch)
13:15 – 13:30 – Nursing Education Standards
13:30 – 14:00 – Shaping the Next Generation of Nurses

If you are interested in attending or want to find out more, please contact

Event details

University of Edinburgh
Friday 1 March 2019
12:15 - 14:00
Room G.04
Doorway 6 Old Medical Quad
Teviot Place

Best wishes


Kerry Ritchie
Network Development Officer
Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
349 Bath Street
G2 4AA"

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