The NAS has created a petition to “Stop the detention of people with autism and learning disabilities in ATU’s”
I have just signed it and urge everyone too as well.
There but for.....
Get family and friends to as well. 80,000 signatures needed to get a debate in Parliament.
Signed. I ended up in a mental health hospital - which was a 2.5 hour drive away - run by the Priory Group. I was told if I didn’t go - by someone I had never met before, 30 seconds after meeting him - I would be sectioned. I was there for nearly a month. Whilst there I witnessed patients being forcibly restrained and given an injection.
Patients were not allowed outside the building unless the psychiatrist gave permission. I didn’t see the psychiatrist for the first 8 days. It was a secure unit and I was only allowed out after finding a member of staff willing to unlock the exit door. They took details of what I was wearing and said if I was longer than the allotted time, they would call the police.
Now I’m afraid to access help because I’m worried I’ll get locked up again.
I am really sorry to hear this Graham. It must have been a really harrowing experience. I worked in mental health services many years ago and it is depressing that things are still so bad.
Like you I fear the consequences of ever being caught up in the mental health system. How ironic that services designed to assist us at moments of great vulnerability actually make us feel unsafe.
I wonder if these institutions are more about making the people outside feel safe rather than the safety of the incarcerated.
Mental health services for autists appears to be directed by people so enamoured by their own theories of, ’Theory of Mind’, ‘Executive Function’, etc, ad nauseam, that they have forgotten their proper purpose and function.
I've never been a theta to anyone.
So true Graham. This has always been a huge problem in the care and treatment of people with mental health issues, and autistic people.
Here are some articles I have been reading on the subject.
TRIGGER WARNING: The content of these articles is often painful to read as they describe the abuse of vulnerable children and adults:
Ten Days in a Mad-House - Nellie Bly (1887)digital.library.upenn.edu/.../madhouse.html
On Being Sane in Insane Places - D. L. Rosenhan (1973)www.oulu.fi/.../AOH Terveenä epäterveissä paikoissa.pdf
Men with Severe Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour in Long-stay Hospital Care: Qualitative study - Jane Hubert (2006) www.cambridge.org/.../core-reader
'Behind this Wall': Experiences of Seclusion on Locked Wards for Women - Rebecca Fish (2012) www.sjdr.se/.../
Children's Voices: A review of evidence on the subjective wellbeing of children in detention in England - Children's Commissioner (2017)www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/.../CCO-review-of-evidence-on-the-subjective-wellbeing-of-children-in-detention-in-England-2.pdf
Some of these articles are historic. It is so important to keep highlighting the abuses that are occurring today.
Thanks for the links. All too predictably demonstrating an inappropriate response by those who really should know better.
In my limited experience (this was first encounter with mental health services) the staff were doing their best. They are badly paid for a difficult job, with staff shortages adding to their stress, and resulting in a high staff turnover. The ward psychiatrist seemed to spend most of his time prescribing medication. The Occupational Therapists were the most helpful. but their time was so limited that their obvious effectiveness was seriously restricted.
To my mind, those with a mental health condition should be allocated an advocate who is able to liaise between GP, mental health and social services. An advocate able to draw on expertise - legal etc - at a regional office. With regional offices overseen by a truly independent body able to propose and influence legislation. Ideally regional and national offices should contain a percentage of staff with personal experience of mental health issues. I would also like the national body have the ability to criticise funding spending spent on pointless research, that could have been more usefully spent on frontline services. Unfortunately, the current ‘free market’ dogma precludes these sort of joined up, common sense proposals.