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Independent on Sunday campaign continues

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  • Rosemary Moore
    The Independent on Sunday continues its campaign for the fourth week today, with a front page lead story (below) and six other stories (title and links below).
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 30, 2002
      The Independent on Sunday continues its campaign for the fourth week today,
      with a front page lead story (below) and six other stories (title and links
      below). The lead story focuses on the the draft mental health bill and
      includes the comment from
      Alan Franey, former chief executive of Broadmoor, that the proposals are
      "harmful". The other stories are a good mix and I was particularly
      interested in the piece by Jeremy Laurance who has researched INSIDE mental
      hospitals up and down the country for his book 'Pure Madness: how fear
      drives the mental health system' which will be published by Routledge in the
      autumn.
      (Full story Mental Health: The Fear Factory
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310448 )

      A Channel 5 tv programme "Inside Broadmoor" is to be screened by Channel 5
      on 23 July, in which Alan Franey, former mental health boss, says the
      hospital has reverted to its restrictive policies of the 1960s and 1970s.
      This includes segregating men and women as well as denying patients home
      visiting rights.
      (Full story Mental health proposals 'very harmful'
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310563 )

      The three previous weeks' stories from the Independent on Sunday can be
      found on the website www.independent.co.uk by putting "Broadmoor" in the
      "search this site" box.

      The treatment of the mentally ill that shames us all
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310576
      Today psychiatrists attack the draft Mental Health Bill as 'morally
      indefensible and ethically corrupt'. For three weeks the IoS has campaigned
      on mental health issues, and we share their revulsion at plans for detention
      without trial and forcible injections. Britain's mentally ill have a right
      to be heard. We will give them a voice

      By Sophie Goodchild and Colin Brown Political Editor
      30 June 2002
      The treatment of the mentally ill that shames us all
      The Government's Bill to lock up the mentally ill before they have committed
      any offence is condemned today by the professional body which will have to
      implement it as "ethically corrupt" and "morally indefensible".
      The attack by the Royal College of Psychiatrists - one of the most extreme
      by a professional body against government policy since Tony Blair came to
      power - is reinforced by the Law Society, Labour MPs and opposition parties.
      A powerful alliance of cross-party and professional opposition was last
      night forming behind the campaign led by The Independent on Sunday for
      justice for the mentally ill who are being denied their civil liberties in
      some of Britain's most high-security mental institutions.
      The draft Mental Health Bill published last week by Alan Milburn, Secretary
      of State for Health, will close a loophole that let Michael Stone go free
      before murdering Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan, even
      though he had been diagnosed with a dangerous personality disorder.
      It will require mentally disordered people to submit to compulsory
      treatment, but critics believe it will force psychiatrists to act as police,
      locking up people before they have committed crimes.
      Controversy over the treatment of the dangerously mentally ill was fuelled
      this weekend by the disclosure that a man who attacked 11 churchgoers with a
      samurai sword had been released into the community from a high-security
      mental hospital after just 21 months.
      Under the new Bill, such patients could be forced to undergo treatment
      against their wishes even when released into the community. Those with
      dangerous personality disorder could be detain indefinitely, even though
      they had committed no offence.
      The Government faces a possible Labour rebellion unless it backs down over
      the most contentious parts of the bill. David Hinchliffe, the Labour
      chairman of the Commons select committee on health, told the IoS he could
      not vote for the Bill unless it were amended.
      Liam Fox, the Tory spokesman on health, said the Opposition would vote
      against the Bill as currently drafted. "We are deeply concerned about the
      powers over the rights of patients who have committed no offence."
      Warning that it will shame our society, Dr Tony Zigmond, a spokesman for the
      Royal College, said: "It was driven entirely by the Home Office. It came out
      of the Michael Stone and Christopher Clunis cases. If you have an
      argumentative son who drinks too much and gets stroppy, he could be detained
      under these proposals. We think it is morally indefensible and ethically
      corrupt."
      He compares the measures to the discredited internment powers in Northern
      Ireland in an article today in the IoS. And he warned that some
      psychiatrists would not co-operate with the Government if the legislation
      reaches the statute book in its present form. He said: "We do not believe
      psychiatrists should be used as agents of social control."
      Alan Franey, the former chief executive of Broadmoor, yesterday branded the
      proposals "harmful" and a "breach of human rights". Professor John Gunn,
      chairman of the faculty of forensic psychiatry, who runs a clinic at
      Broadmoor, condemned them as "unworkable".

      Churchgoers not told of release of 'samurai' attacker
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310566

      Mental health proposals 'very harmful'
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310563

      Mental Health: The Fear Factory
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310448

      Mental Health: 'My doctor sent me to A&E. They offered me tea'
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310444

      Mental Health: Have you any idea what kind of life someone detained in
      hospital leads?
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310443

      Mental Health: 'You could say I am a mad psychologist'
      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=310434


      posted by rosemary
      Surrey UK
      www.mentalmagazine.co.uk
      "Campaigning for good health & social care...it's for everyone"
    • Rosemary Moore
      Today, Sunday 7 July, the Independent on Sunday has two full pages (8 & 9) on its mental health campaign and the new mental health bill that it calls
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 7, 2002
        Today, Sunday 7 July, the Independent on Sunday has two full pages (8 & 9) on its mental health campaign and the new mental health bill that it calls "draconian and inhuman". These stories can be found by going to -
        http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=312748

        The feature today also includes letters - which will not be found on the net. One letter is from Liz Main, and I am assuming this is the same Liz Main who contributes to the uksurvivors board. A recent message from her on that (open) board can be found by going to -
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uksurvivors

        This is the text of Liz Main's letter published in The Independent on Sunday today:
        "Last year I was detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. Without committing any crime, I was denied the right to leave a single locked ward with no fresh air for 23 days, I had no right to refuse medication. I am lucky that I have a psychiatrist who discusses and negotiates medication with me, and takes into account the side-effects. Under the proposed Act, people who experience psychosis will effectively be held hostage to their psychiatrist.
        Liz Main
        Herne Hill, London

        For details of the previous weeks' stories go to message 1360 on the mentalmagazine discussion board
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentalmagazine/message/1360


        Pippa W - who runs two Yahoo! discussion boards for voice hearers and voicer hearer supporters has set up a petition opposing the proposed Bill, which she will be sending to the National Director of Mental Health (the "Czar") Louis Appleby.
        To sign the petition go to -
        http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/629187504
        "Sign now and make your voice heard. This petition will be sent directly to
        Louis Appleby, the Mental Health Czar.
        This bill proposes forced medication, and imprisonment without a crime having
        been committed.
        Please sign now to oppose this bill of social control and breaches of human
        rights, and pass this on."

        For information about Janet Cresswell who has been featured in the IoS campaign go to
        http://www.mentalmagazine.co.uk/#janet
        which includes the full text of her autobiographical play "The One Sided Wall" performed at the Bush Theatre in 1989 and an interview from the London Evening Standard explaining how the play came to be written.

        posted by rosemary
        Surrey UK
        www.mentalmagazine.co.uk
        "Campaigning for good health & social care...it's for everyone"




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Rosemary Moore
        Addition to message just posted in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentalmagazine/message/1399: The Independent on Sunday Mental Health Campaign - The IoS
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 7, 2002
          Addition to message just posted in
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentalmagazine/message/1399:

          The Independent on Sunday Mental Health Campaign -

          The IoS feature today also includes -

          "Do you have personal experience of injustice in the mental health system?
          Or do you have a story to tell? If so,
          write to
          Mental Health, Independent on Sunday, Newsdesk, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14
          9RS
          or
          email at mentalhealth@... "

          posted by Rosemary
          Surrey UK
          www.mentalmagazine.co.uk
          "Campaigning for good health & social care...it's for everyone"
        • Rosemary Moore
          The Independent on Sunday newspaper continues its campaign for the sixth week running with two main stories (excerpt and links to full stories below) and four
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 14, 2002
            The Independent on Sunday newspaper continues its campaign for the sixth
            week running with two main stories (excerpt and links to full stories below)
            and four letters which I've typed below the story links as they will not be
            on the net (one letter is from Deborah Tallis - someone of that name is a
            member of some of these discussion boards). These letters indicate
            dissatisfaction across the UK with our mental health services and raise
            common problems. My sister was admitted to our local unit in Chertsey,
            Surrey, on Jubilee Sunday, 4 June, via the Accident & Emergency Department
            and I completely agree with the comment in the first letter from Tom Tully
            about the system being so heavy-handed and unwilling to listen that I (the
            relative) feel the same paranoia experienced by the patient. One of the key
            requirements in the government's National Service Framework is "involving
            users and carers" but this does not happen in practice.

            The picture of Janet Cresswell published in the feature on her on 16 June is
            used on the letters page today with the caption: "Detained for whose
            benefit? Writer Janet Cresswell, above, who triggered 'The Independent on
            Sunday' mental health campaign, has been in Broadmoor for 22 years and is
            considered 'harmless' by many." Janet's own letter that she submitted to
            the paper - pointing out that she would NOT be released even if she did
            accept a diagnosis of mental illness - has not been published, nor a
            correction to the number of years Janet has been incarcerated, which is 26
            not 22 as stated in the stories. For information about Janet and to read
            "The One Sided Wall" - an autobiographical play written when she had been in
            Broadmoor for 12 years and performed in 1989, plus interview with her in the
            London Evening Standard go to:
            http://www.mentalmagazine.co.uk/#janet

            The IoS is also asking for personal stories, with an email contact at
            mentalhealth@... or mail address at Mental Health, Independent
            on Sunday, Newsdesk, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS

            For details of previous weeks' stories:
            Sunday 30 June
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentalmagazine/message/1360
            Sunday 7 July
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentalmagazine/message/1399

            Sunday 14 July -

            http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=314778 for full
            story
            Mental Health: Mentally ill tourists cost NHS millions
            By Sophie Goodchild and Elizabeth Hollander
            14 July 2002
            The NHS is paying out millions of pounds a year on private treatment for
            mentally ill tourists who are not eligible for free healthcare in Britain.

            http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=314779 for full
            story
            Mental Health: 'As soon as Jack fled, they washed their hands of him'
            By Jonathan Thompson
            14 July 2002
            An investigation has been launched at a controversial mental health hospital
            after a patient was able to escape past guards - less than two weeks after a
            woman was raped in the same psychiatric unit.

            LETTERS PAGE Independent on Sunday 14 July 2002
            Write to the Editor at The Independent on Sunday, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14
            9RS, or fax to 020-7005 2628, or email to sundayletters@....
            Letters should arrive by Thursday noon and include a postal address and
            daytime telephone number. They may be edited for length (250 words maximum)
            and clarity.

            Picture of Janet Cresswell with caption -
            "Detained for whose benefit? Writer Janet Cresswell, above, who triggered
            'The Independent on Sunday' mental health campaign, has been in Broadmoor
            for 22 years and is considered 'harmless' by many. (Making victims of the
            mentally ill')"

            Making Victims of the mentally ill
            Four letters:

            I was amazed and inspired by your coverage of the state of mental health
            treatment in this country and the scary "big brother" type proposals by this
            government.
            After having to stand by my son as he suffered the consequences of a
            drug-orientated, coercive system, your headline "The treatment of the
            mentally ill shames us all" (30 June) is spot on. Last summer my 23-year
            old son was causing concern to some of the family. He had made several
            impulsive decisions which had resulted in an unsuccessful trip abroad, some
            wasted money and a failed driving test - no more, no less. He became
            withdrawn, preferring not to answer questions on problems he might be having
            and so was taken to see a doctor.
            Six months, three clinical teams and four (badly prescribed and forcibly
            administered) major tranquillisers later and he was reduced to an
            incontinent, shuffling, chain-smoking shell of his former self. A prisoner
            without a prisoner's rights. At one point he wasn't allowed to step outside
            for a month. The system was so heavy-handed and unwilling to listen that
            even I felt the paranoia most patients experience when subjected to this
            kind of treatment.
            Thank you, on behalf of all the good people I have got to know; who are
            suffering silently and have no voice.
            TOM TULLY
            Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

            I was detained under the Mental Health Act for a total of four years, with
            14 months of that time in a secure unit. I have never harmed anyone. My
            only "crime" was that I wanted to die.
            If this draft Bill comes into place then a lot of people will end up staying
            away from psychiatry and not seeking help at an early stage for fear of
            being detained. Although technically the Bill is aimed at those labelled
            as having "dangerous severe personality disorder", it could be applied to
            many others. The 3-4 per cent of the population given a personality
            disorder diagnosis have particular reason to be concerned. If there were
            appropriate services in place that people could approach at an early stage
            then a Bill such as this would not be needed.
            DEBORAH TALLIS
            Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

            Where will the new legislation on mental health leave people like myself who
            have the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder because we self-harm
            as a means of coping with severe distress? It leaves the way open for
            thousands of women to be treated in a way similar to violent individuals.
            Three-quarters of people who self-harm have been subjected to child abuse
            and so are already victims. This Bill victimises us again and is unjust.
            LYNN HARRISON
            Coventry

            This government has continued in the iniquities of its predecessor. The
            quality of care of the mentally ill wins few votes and the massive
            economies that have been made have caused those who are ill to deteriorate
            by calculated and cynical neglect.
            Virtually all the support services in the community have been reduced to a
            Monday to Friday nine-to-five basis, instead of a 24-hour all-week basis.
            In East Sussex over Christmas the "assertive outreach" (a kind of intensive
            care for quite seriously ill patients) closed down for eight days, leaving
            an answerphone. This is just when it is most needed - and getting an
            emergency admission is made very difficult. In many areas it requires a
            very long wait at the nearest A&E - something sure to put off the mentally
            ill patient seeking help.
            There is understandable public concern about acts committed by persons
            known to have mental health problems. What the public is usually unaware of
            is that in at least two-thirds of these cases the individual did seek help
            before they deteriorated and were denied it. If they do present themselves
            later they have often deteriorated and their treatment is then frequently
            compulsory, which does not bring about an attitude of trust. The mentally
            ill in the community, however disturbed, need access to asylums staffed by
            professionals 24 hours a day; and the police, who have increasingly become
            the frontline mental health service, need a place to which they can hand on
            such a client.
            Rev HUGH BRIDGE
            Hartley, Kent


            posted by Rosemary
            Surrey UK
            www.mentalmagazine.co.uk
            "Campaigning for good health & social care...it's for everyone"
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