Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mental Health : Breaking Health Illusions

Karl Linx's Wisdom ?

The Dept of Health and Govt approved back door fox-trot on patient and public involvement (PPI) has resulted in a dubious and sloppy new set up in Local Involvement Networks (LINks) across the UK .

So far we are aware that Statutory Overview Scrutiny Committee's (headed by local councils to oversee changes in Health Services ) are also slopping around in the LINks splashing too as some kind of Linky-kinky-form tries to swim here and there - added to that the Foundation Trust 's have become mysterious and poor at producing a view in onto them . We are not sure what the LINks splashing form is though because occasionally a watery arm is seen then a brick around the neck of something, then different conflicting cries and maybe a screeching cat in a sack ...

Hang on maybe its a drowning we are witnessing !
We THEREFORE give thanks to our readers for being there because YOU MADE US THINK and decode the new DOH pushed and distorted symbolism ....Or is that embolism we mean ? Maybe they will use formaldehyde soon and PPI as an ethos will be well and truly pickled as well as trickled ...?

Ex Commission for Patient and Public Involvement Types are turning up at the National Centre For Involvement (funded by the Dept of Health ) apparently and we see they lately want someone with press experience . Ahhh the image game ...The love of arts everyone has would be amazing were it put to the use of integrity ..

They want a "Director of Communications NCI" for £19645 - 22765

"Job Purpose :

To provide professional communication/ press office function, administration support as well as provide advice and information on the NHS Centre for Involvement, its partners and available resources to contacts from patients, the public, patient and public involvement professionals, voluntary organisations, working with both internal and external customers"

The new year is a-coming but accountability in health that might lead to better reform is unlikely we think, not least because all across the UK we are seeing a trend of LINks having a kind of authority-core which will dominate its working groups - you know the people that have to see and experience the health and social care bullshit going on . We have seen this trend in places like Bristol and Birmingham and we really wonder what Hampshire is doing too - its almost as if the PCT and Council there had it all arranged behind the scenes and stitched up appearences of a few concerned citzens with a dominant shadow of NHS/Council bureau-fear behind them ready to run and control the agenda. Without sure footed independence LINks will be slurried into partnership sliding about ...

We think LINks is doomed to failure because its already being observed to be internally centralising and creates a pyramid core group tendency who are not necessarily patients and the public with that hard edge of patient and public experience gained by some in the in the PPI forums . We are also in possession of evidence that shows some alarming views that LINks appears to attract those who are authoritarian in their approach .. Oooo lets see more of you lot - bring it on ... We is the Multi Media cheeksters and do not expect any mercy from us .. Satire is our game and we will give you fame ...

Instead of using the strategic power of some wisdom gained by those lingering on from PPI days - LINKs here and there are already behaving like mini versions of a mis-shapen political puppet of the Dept of Health . It seems the DOH puppetmasters have done well .. What power LINks have at the moment is dubious. Certainly no greater that the Freedom of Information Act and worryingly some have no indemnity (as PPI Fora previously had from the Secretary of State) . Yet the confidence in them is not great either since the Govt has trashed and bashed the sharp little teeth that some previous PPI Fora were developing and that is making ex-health-activists give their own opinions in the UK amongst their peers ..

So what is more positively going for the UK Government is the current trend in widened opportunities for administrators and the players it backs through the NHS link in the bureau "partnership game" ... Yet this is now in the uncertain context of an altering economy with no bullshit financial sector to keep any surpluses acruing ...

Frankly we have never agreed with the idea of User-Voice in any part of medicine without USER CHOICE being a parallel purchasing power more immediately owned by the patient and we wonder what would have happened if all the expensive bureaucracy around PPI and so on had been converted into straight forward personal health budgets locally driven in truer linked partnership with GP's .. The real LINK has been denied we think . Its about de-bureacratisation of health , Patient Choice, and losing the false illusions that are chaining patients lives ......

But watch the Govt carefully for how it has undermined the local connection between GP and patient claiming better health accountability - new forms of super practices (led by PCT planning) are springing up here and there but they are not local enough and are not seriously humanly friendly enough....The NHS was at its best with the GP connection and long term relationship - System driven analytics which is undermining human connections in health has to stop because its driving money up its own bureaucratic performance loving arse and undermining the human connection and real patient-link in health.

We advise - Watch the Trusts and PCT's - that is where the chaos and the dirt under the carpet is . They know it and they are paranoid about being found out which makes LINKs all the more designed and influenced to be soapier .... Moral sliding is the greatest skill you will ever see in the NHS ....

See the debate below about GP's Opposition To Polyclinics

From June 2008 Parliament Debate Re : Local Scrutiny

Tony Baldry (Banbury, Conservative) | Hansard source | Watch this

My hon. Friend has said that the situation is absurd, but there is a further bizarre twist. Is he aware that the Darzi clinics will not be subject to monitoring by health overview and scrutiny committees? The Government are introducing a two-tier NHS: parts of the NHS are subject to scrutiny by health overview and scrutiny committees, whereas independent treatment centres and Darzi clinics will not be subject to scrutiny and monitoring by health overview and scrutiny committees, which seems fundamentally wrong.

I agree with my hon. Friend. Pulse recently looked at the proposals in PCTs, and only a tiny proportion of those that it looked at had been subject to even a semblance of a public consultation. The reason is precisely the same as the reason that my hon. Friend gave: the Government are determined that the proposal should not be subject to scrutiny. Why? Because it will not stand up to that scrutiny, it is not locally determined, it does not arise out of the needs and circumstances of the area and, on the quality of care that will be provided, it is not even evidence-based.


Polyclinics BBC

Hansard GP Links Undermined

Theyworkforyou . com Polyclinics Debate

Mental Health Disablement, Arts And Empowerment

How to Use Photoshop - A Tutorial

Courtesy YouTube

Those who have severe Mental Health (MH) problems and like the arts are often up against the wall in terms of being able to get out and get some help to improve one of the things that will aid their lives into creating a few more coloured islands in amongst the fire and fear seas . The services offer limited support and UserWatch is as readers will know very critical of the ways they have -re-institutionalised arts in mental health. There is a clear need for better grants for User-chosen mentoring both in truly User controlled space and money should reach patients and stop creating bureacracy.. However that's a doomed hope . The NHS thrives on staff and patient de-individuation too much , conformity and personal betrayal of even the Self ....

So buddies , "you is" in street terms "on your own" - but not quite WE ARE HERE biting as usual .. And so is the NET ! When you can get to use it (and we know that's hard sometimes) get onto YouTube and look at what's available in tutorials for using "Blogger" and learn learn learn ...And make mistakes , yep make em and learn , and forgive yourself for them and stroke yourself and your bruised computer too ...

Getting more to the point of this post we show a "Photoshop" tutorial above - which gives 30 minutes of tips and help for using "Photoshop"....

Users interested in the arts have contacted us and the Great KAKATOO and mangy Silvis Rivers and other disruptive artists have advised Users to FIRST - scan in line drawings done with good lining pens and colour with photoshop. You can even recolour after using markers of pencils but MAKE SURE your lining and lines are joined up and well defined otherwise when using photoshop to colour fill you will find colours chosen will flow into other areas where you did not want it to go ...

You can trawl YouTube yourself though - looking for tutorials -

Here are some more on Photoshop

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Christmas Gift Of Post Trauma And Red Snows

For Yasser And Ariel ..

Post trauma can generate its own repeat impetus by a process labelled as "acting out" or "projection" where the victim tries to blame the world for the victimisation of the victim . It gets more damn complex when the social world is actually shit too .

"Acting out" needs no great science to explain it - its a reflex to protect from an inner past that is over at one level but its also an overload from past events that were not fully resolved into a painful but necessary emotional integration ... Easy to state isnt it ? . Its very hard to unravel emotionally without serious help and by god you'll pay for any wisdom often with tears of acid .

But "post trauma" is not all not purely in the realms of some inner disorder people can easily pathologise and label quickly like the usual mental health-parrots .. Survivors genuinely need a very powerful form of hearing and for as many years as they do need it . You'll be lucky to get that kind of hearing and the right of explosive grief anywhere in the world. The UK for instance is upper-lip-deadland mainly and thus craziness, repression and self distortion without emotional straightness is encouraged ..

Survivors of great pain and trauma have wandered either through childhood or adult survival only by being partly dissociated ghosts and sometimes its a case of woe betide anyone who should act remotely abusive to them . They are both the victim and the victimised rolled into an energy loop ready to be uncurled but rarely helped to a cure - systems of health care would rather they were pilled or injected and that is measure of the systems encouraged lack of human depth. Feelings are seen as "risk" areas ...

The combined triggers for revenge and self protection are there in post trauma survivors ...Its not just Israel and the Palestinians that are locked into this cycle . Its a wider global and social truth . Of unheard people, listened to the bones of their damages. The post traumatised have acute sensitivity and vulnerability and are overprotective so much they will force onto others unreasonable boundaries and forms of "war" over their "security" .

Security, that actually means underneath something precious and real was either anihiliated or the threat is it will all happen again ... Imagine if you will, many people who were shaped from post trauma events . Imagine a nation of them and you come close to a cycle of events that has so many internal weaves and layers of collective inner life and fears, and outer social projections and repeated acting out on others who also now are the dreaded shadows. So you have arrived in Post-trauma-tradition-land and all that is left is a moil of social sickness, suicidality and despair with cornered selves .

Hitler would be pleased wouldn't he .... ? Its snowing red over Gaza ..

For Further References See :

Palestinian Media Center

The Jewish Virtual Library

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mental Health Self Anihiliation Compulsions ?

In Gaza despair is normal. Other people with shared religious illusions and claims on lands have progressively and compulsively stretched out into Gaza lands . Their object appears to have been to silence the claims for the cornered and violated voice of Palestinians who are now a concentration camp shadow of Israel's past and its paranoid construct re-shaped by its neighbours into a seige mentality .

Self anihiliation or threatened anihilation of the Self can beget an explosive mixture of behaviours into which final suicide wanders and the voice of suicide is a social critique on everyone. Very few want to hear it thoroughly though . Death as a force too can become so large sometimes that what constructs the suicidal narrative is wiped out - history is lost in the explosions and counter explosions of shells - rage/counter rage violates all - even the ears ... For a time ... God help Gaza and all who live in her ...

We oiled ourselves
With David's star
And worshipped at the
God Of Car

And Mordecai blew
The nuclear whistle

And the world's eyes
Closed on his epistle

They'll flame the Gazans
For being Guy Fawkes
Pretend to open more
Non talks

Its easy to give death's tanks and ferry
When you know
You're Tom
And your weight and claws like
Shredding up the ghosts of Jerry

Blairing Out The Mental Health And Benefit Lies One Year On

One Year On and in between where bankers with incapacity are now a benefit class relying on the UK Taxpayer what would Tony say :

"Ah its a gliche in the markets"

Yeahhhhh "Tone"..... So much for your policy dream of supporting the growing UK middle classes who simply borrowed more than they could afford in order to support well pensioned lives - kids at university - ever rising property values and many holidays a year as well as early retirements. Of course they could only do this on a credit boom because the UK lost most of its ability to produce anything but administrators of other people's lives and the vacuum of industrial productivity was taken up by the financial sector .. So much for that sector "Tone" ..

Plundering the benefit classes is left though, so we can see that the middle class dream in the future will be buffered partly by that. Its a question of a "welfare raid" being done , and it will happen ..

At least some "buffering" mentally speaking, is underway too, because the strident screams about scroungers have been waiting in the wings have come out from roost to caw in the anti-underclass press. So if politics is about illusions then that is another one that shows that press and politician-led false catharsis is underway at someone else's expense ... Scream and scream again but never at your own folly in the mirror of bugger my neighbour over decades eh?

This brings UserWatch to the false mental health service delivery that was shaped by middle class policy thinkers like you "Tone" who wanted to play the middle ground of softly softly alter the NHS because so many of "our buddies" are working in it and profiting from it . Like the NIMHE Uni-Users who have progressed on to being top-down delivery staff . A few staff do give a damn about patients but the majority are part of the illusory life of being picked off by their own self interest and keeping tactically dumb . Thus the land of the patient is shut up and marginalised and shut off apart from the in-house glove puppets and User-Pinnochio groups .

Anyway "Tone" over to you ... And do us a favour and stop preaching about the Middle East - lets see someone real like Gerry Adams giving advice to both parties and please will you piss off back to some boardroom and be the banker you are - after all one way or another you have lined the poorest up for the Tories and their 19th century love of the moral whippery of workhouse logic .....

11/01/2008 nearly one years ago :

"Former prime minister Tony Blair has agreed to take on an advisory role at Wall Street bank JP Morgan. According to reports, he will earn approximately £2 million over the next year from the part-time position, in addition to earnings related to his memoirs, lectures, other advisory roles and public service allowances.

Mr Blair, who started his career as a barrister before embarking on a political career, will offer the investment bank strategic and political advice and will also take part in various client events. He stepped down from his role as prime minister in June 2007 and, according to The Telegraph, is "well on course to becoming the richest former prime minister in history".

Although he is not paid for his position as Middle East envoy, Mr Blair's income from his combined roles which is estimated at more than £10million, is likely to far outweigh his outgoings, which are thought to be approximately £600,000, including mortgage payments and office costs. He will be called upon only when needed, and will most likely give advice by telephone. According to reports, he is planning to take on similar roles with other companies from a range of industries.

JP Morgan operates in more than 50 countries worldwide and its assets are said to total approximately $1.5 trillion. According to the company's CEO, Jamie Dimon, said Mr Blair would be "enormously valuable" because of his vast knowledge and relationships. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is also backing Mr Blair to become EU president next year."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mental Health Incapacity Dogs Defend Dogland

The discovery of explosive Dogpowder made of dog nitrates and collected from the bottom of pissing poles frequently used in NHS mental health establishments by "chemically intelligent" Incapacity Dogs has meant a new rise in attacks on staff ....Yes maybe they were right : "Its something in the water"

Bin bag doggerism as it has been coined emerging with the power of piss though is set to increase as the DWP and NHS combine to create more "crufty" little performance ways to create new scraping around binclusions for mental health dogs....

In a move that resembles the tit for tattery of the Middle East, Incapacity Deputy Dog the self styled leader of ID teams has claimed :

"The Spite is On"

"After all, its all we get from a system that sees poodles at the top of it getting combed and having their arses newly powdered with more expenses at Foundation Trusts pamper-offices...."


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Will Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health User Voice Grow And Become Truly Independent And Help Users Outside Of The Trust Too?

We have heard yet again from a number of unhappy sources that Users are fed up of current in-house "User Voice" arrangements inside the Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. We wont be boring about this - there are some new facts to be considered on the financial side too .

The underlying problem is one and always has been of "separation and independence" and a feeling that a "real" User Voice actually does not properly exist in Birmingham .

More Users are sensing "User-Voice's" compromised position within the Trust .. Could it be made independent ? After all Autumn's "Label Free" - a magazine subsidized by the Trust and Birmingham City Council creates focus about better advocacy and how it does not always exist .. They are right - it does not, and it should .. Oh for sure, advocacy of Users exists in patches - but User's Voice "group advocacy" role is very weak and uses money up that could support honed up training and a better User Voice form ..

Taking this point on - it was the case that an Independent User Voice (with better powers of advocacy) was put forward as a feasible structure by the late BSMHT Patient and Public Involvement Forum. The Trust have never been keen on this even though they are absolutely aware of the nearby Debyshire Voice - an independent User Voice which has charity status and it own Trustee Users ... Derbyshire Voice is financed directly through Primary Care Trusts (PCT's) and therefore at a better "arms length" from the Trust it views and works with . The PCT's like it that way - the appropriate tension for accountability is better .

The way User's Voice within the BSMHF Trust is managed and financed gives overwhelming control of the User Voice direction to the Trust. People know its oppressive - they cannot lie about their experiences. It also helps crush the patient voice into something resembling sweetened up but rather brown sniffy fudge .... User Voice workers know it, but the local mental health User-economy which has provided economic positions for some of them has sadly also compromised them ....Enough of them might make a difference to plan a better future if they had the will . Or will they be bought off ? The Trust you see have very cute and long distance ears about all of this ...They watch UserWatch. They do not want an autonomous User Voice any more than they want autonomous Governors who are also feeling pissed off for being like ritual democrats with no real and deeply linked purposes .....

Well they played the game of NHS command and control politics where the bureau-cats prowl oh so very stealthily in the BSMHFT .....And the scratches of being overcompromised become oh so invisible until you meet patients with X-ray integrity eyes..Of-course they see right through it .

Is There A Way Out ?

There is a way out of the Trust's overarching rule . It has to be healthy to want that . Compromise is the nature of the game here because whatever is organised re: User Voice if it becomes independent it has to satisfy some NHS probity. But it can independently exist by pumping up its income base differently and re-constituting and by taking on more skilled advocacy and becoming Third Sector workers that organise outside of the Trust. This role, ordinary well informed Users have argued, is in keeping with PCT's locally financing User Voice directly . But will they ? Curiously there is no perfect reading of this situation in which PCT's in Birmingham seem keen to create more serious autonomy for patients in mental health .. Which leaves patients to either petition them or say nothing and go back to a quarter of a voice ...

And perhaps that is the point . Do patients who are inside a context in which their damages make them like slaves to a system accept that ? Or do they consider vision and more recoverable autonomy that paradoxically must be assisted in the right way ? The Trust have traded on that equation badly - namely the paradox of dependency and assisted growth. The one where autonomy is under command and control and the agenda of what is meant by recovery is still overwhelmingly set by the State .. This is a serious core problem because until Users can create more consumerist type freedoms they are trapped inside managerial command and control equations - a bit like User Voice, that fears seperation because its not being assisted into independent growth properly . Its a question of hanging around the back door of the Trusts body and fearing what is beyond . User Voice is not alone in that - Users with long term damages have talked about this NHS social trap on their lives too ..

At UserWatch we have seen the local Trust continually and easily dominate from the centre and top . We have learned also recently the Trust has £800,000 of funds from the Trust Charities to disperse at rate of 200k per year over the next 4 years . User Voice think on this opportunity - Or is this a step of freed up faith in the Patient Voice that is far too challenging ?

Will you accept the status quo ? Where does it go ? Does it reach into a future in which more damaged people can use a new User Voice company to reach outward into grants for training and special help ? Or does it die in the shadows of poor prospects for all ? ... Who and what vision will you serve User Voice ?

Oh it can be done okay - the creation of a New Independent User Voice we mean .... The vision is there its a question of developing it into a business case - like the PPI partly did and that paper and those ideas still exist ..


Mental Health Arts And Crufts


Meanwhile In Ye Olde Mental Health Santa Ward

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mental Health Incapacity Dog Wins Dept Of Work And Purnell Award

A Mental Health User-Dog known as "Incapacity Dog" has invented a butcher and dinosaur friendly ECO-BONE Chair . Said to be particularly useful in areas where human massacres have occured or the UK has been to war, the "Eco-bone Chair" is good for disability dogs everywhere and helps cleaning up here and there and employment of otherwise bone-idle dogs ..

James Purnell on hearing of this wonderful invention and the multi-layered benefits it can have to disabled dogs everywhere, is rumoured to be creating special grants for disabled dogs in the UK on Incapacity Benefit, to travel to places like Iraq or Rwanda and even as far afield as Afghanistan.

"I agree these beasts need to be put to useful work where there are plenty of bones"

He said when UserWatch asked him what he felt about this important job creation innovation.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Now The Health And Overview Scrutiny Committees Have Building Concerns Across the UK About Foundation Trusts


It is surprising that Health Journalists in the UK have not picked up yet on the anti-democratic tendencies of the NHS Foundation Trusts. (take note Health Service Journal)

Are these new types of UK wide NHS Trusts : expansively involving with good feedback ?

Good at sharing information ? In control of their own finances ? Democratically engaging ?

No they are not, in anything but mists and paper dreams ..

These new types of Foundation Trusts were supposed to replace the old ones and have new batches of Governors made up of public and service users and staff

The idea was one of more “stakeholder accountability” in the NHS UK – re-linking to the public partly , but the truth is the democracy bone is bare and the arrangements are ritualistic and out of touch with all but a bubbling glass sphere of meetings and lunches ...

The other beneficial claim was the FT's were supposed to plan the use of their own services by what amounted to shaving costs from their own services for “efficiences” and then “ideally” they could divert them to new forms of local beneficial health spends .

Well the Treasury is set to claw back 500 million of those autonomous plans

But equally bad is the emerging truth that as Health-Overview Scrutiny Committee's , appointed by Councils, but who work under statute to check NHS service alterations start to question FT Governors, they can find little that is healthy in the way of quality work and use of influence by Governors

Several concerned sources contacted USERWATCH and have revealed across the country there are few minutes shared or much evidence of FT Governships “working” .. In the north of the country one source close to local government claimed – “there is no evidence at all” .

Another source in the east of the country was asked by UserWatch if they had been in the usual shared information loop of Trust Board Minutes from the local NHS Trusts that had now converted to Foundation Trust status ? After all that had been the historical practice .

The answer was :

“No ! This has all dried up HOSC's don't appear to be in that loop now either – its all gone dry at the information well “

UserWatch checked other sources and sure enough HOSC's with a statutory duty to view services and be abreast of potential changes are not getting Trust Board information of deeper quality from the Foundation Trusts since they became FT's

Naturally you cannot hold anything to account if there is no transparency to see into it, yet the Foundation Trusts were supposed to be better democratically linked - better informing etc to encourage local re-engagement . The truth is, the NHS FT Trusts have slunk back into defensive information management and an iron curtain of information shuffle muffle .

Anyone in the UK or world can try a comparative search method of NHS Trust Board minutes before and after each Trust was granted its FT status by the so called “independent Regulator” MONITOR and what disappears from view is massive amounts of Trust Board information .

This is not wider accountability its an iron fishbowl that only looks transparent by some clever reflective metal tricks

The pattern resembles a kind of equivalent to an anti-information meteor impact too that has caused a large UK wide crater and wiped out the old UK Trust dinosaurs – and no-one is sure that what has evolved is truly linked or useful .

On a parallel note, concern has been expressed in the Lords about the new Health and Social Care monitoring “Local Involvements Networks” - some of which have become cumbersome and bureaucratically crawling . These LINks groups at local levels are not inspiring any but the few and monitoring of the Health and Social Care Services has dropped to an all time low .

The Dept of Health however behaves as if all is rosy in the crater and sips tea with those it tries to convince with its own ideals of brown muddy fudged reality ......

LORDS HANSARD (See Below too) 11 Dec 2008 : Column 499

However, there will probably be some aspects of the Government’s approach that we shall want to examine carefully. There does not seem to be much point in drawing up a set of regulations containing what everyone accepts are already the responsibilities and functions of the NHS and saying that the NHS must have regard to them, unless we see how this will add value to patient care. I need to understand rather better than I currently do what the practical implications of applying, or failing to comply with, the constitution will be for patients and staff and what “having regard to” will really mean.

It is certainly helpful to articulate and assert NHS values. There are those who are apprehensive that, with the private and voluntary sectors playing an increasing part in the provision of NHS care, those values may not always be to the fore and who believe that we need the constitution for that reason if for no other. The trouble is that NHS values, as such, are apparently not to be included in the constitution. Nor are there any proposals to enshrine the principle of independent regulation of healthcare, which is so important if we are to have a genuinely patient-centred service. Rather mysteriously, two of the principles set out in the NHS plan have gone missing, including the principle that the NHS will support and value its staff. I would be interested to hear the Minister’s comment on that.

We are told that one ingredient of the health Bill will be to strengthen public involvement in the commissioning arrangements of primary care trusts. It will be interesting to see what these provisions consist of. I say this with some degree of concern. Noble Lords will remember that, last year, we debated and passed the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act, which abolished patients’ forums and made provision for local involvement networks. LINks are meant to be in place and fully functioning across the country by the end of this month. Personally, I would be amazed if that happened. Everything that I and other noble Lords predicted during the passage of the Act has come to pass. There were meant to be transitional arrangements for patient and public involvement following the abolition of forums. Many local authorities have quite simply failed to understand the legislation properly and, in consequence, have failed to put in place those transitional arrangements. Information about the levels of service that host organisations have been contracted to deliver is being withheld, which makes it impossible to assess how well or badly they are doing. Many local authorities appear to believe that once a host is in place they have fulfilled their duties under the law—exactly the misconception that many of us fought so hard to avoid when we persuaded the Government to build transitional provisions into the Bill.

The Government have made public money available to fund such arrangements. Despite that, many local authorities have refused to reimburse volunteers their legitimate expenses. The net result of all this is that many committed and talented people have given up the struggle and are now lost to the system. It is the perception of those who represent LINk members that Ministers are in denial about how bad the situation

11 Dec 2008 : Column 500

is in many areas of the country. If the health Bill is to depend on LINks to deliver the promised strengthening of public involvement in commissioning, we really must have greater confidence than many of us do have that they will be up to the task.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mental Health Incapacity Dog Named Two Pins Starts A Social Doggerprise

Cartoonery By KAKATOO

In an effort to copy James Poodell's bottom scent from the Dept Of Woof And Pensions - Incapacity Dog AKA "Two Pins" set up his bone-stall today and we at UserWatch interviewed him.

"Innovation is the key" Says Two Pins

"Bones that light up and show other dogs how to collect bones are my invention . I have not sold many because I can hardly get around and have to eat most of the bones I find ...."

"Now there's a credit squeeze, dogs everywhere are going into the local dustbins with torches too"

James Poodell is well fed though " ... Two Pins Snarled.

"To be honest most of the bones I have here are from dead dog friends killed or starved by the UK Fat National Health Dog Services that made them even more mental than they were - some used to see scratchy cats everywhere - even in their baskets ..

I hate selling my dead friends out - but what's an Incapacity dog to do ... ? "

Guest appearance toon below :

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mental Health Two Legged User Dog Tries To Outrun DWP Benefit Tsunami

Cartoon By Kakatoo Dec 2008

TwoPins - the disabled User-Hound that all Mental Health Users know and love at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust UK was sketched by KAKATOO outrunning a Dept of Work And Pensions Benefit Tsunami .....

They do say these giant DWP waves withdraw the benefits from the dogger-sands first then lash in with raised splashes of impossible bluish tons of expectations .

The tsunami was concocted up by a few bad twisty watery magic spells - very bad dog meat policy-belches, and a posh doggy bunch of New Slavers headed by the privileged James Poodell ...

Poodell it is claimed, is really just a face painted onto the dogger-sands to frighten puppies into being trained and crapping properly known as : "doing their bit"....

Bitches with puppies are very scared around pictures of Poodell ..

Yessss "bit" in "doing their bit " does rhyme with something - but we at UserWatch are very very good as you all know .

We will keep you in touch with how two legged dogs fare and TwoPins especially in the new Wavey-World of goodbyes to stability of all sorts - unless you are banker, then your incapacity will certainly be given benefits ..

UserWatch - loves dogs by the way...

Extra Feature Below : Stuart Butterfield -

the guy who founded


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mental Health Voluntary Death Centre Policy Unveiled As Labour Develop New Logo From "L's"

In a bid to save the country (UK) from keeping long term Mental Health Users on benefit the "Assisted Suicide" Law is to be repealed so the Govt can employ new classes of ex Service Users and NHS Staff to help those who wish to claim a new death benefit ..

Fred Froyd of the New Labour Progressive Policy Unit along with Jimmy Arseknell has claimed that not only will the country save money in the longer term but those choosing a way to help the country will have 2 years of all welfare beneits given to their dog , budgie or the the upkeep of the graves of their dead friends and family ....Or they can donate it back to the Govt ..

Gordon Brown is hailing this as a New Economic wave of thought : " Goodbye to failure"

"A changing of no hope into no life is now valuable for the community .."

All of this fits into a new drive by the Labour party in the UK to get "tough and real with zeal " and even to change its logo by smart use of a rightward circle of "L's" ...


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Incapacity Parrots Get Expanding Jobs In Mental Health Trusts

Fairness to User Parrotkind is almost a policy of UserWatch .....Almost, because too much fairness weakens the power of cheek and you know us ..

Meeting Users in Manchester UK recently saw two of the UserWatch team hearing them talking about the usual NHS and Mental Health (MH) Charity orthodox anti-stigma-awking and other awkings which are awked out by awking Users at their Trust as though they are original awks .....

"Society is to blame for not accepting us AWK AWK ... " "Society , AWK ..Employers are awkward AWK AWK......."

Most of the awking by fit User parrots at their Trust was about getting jobs and mini careers in the Trust itself and few awkings were about patients getting better treatment choices that might be possible were it not for so many fit parrots getting NHS jobs awking about this and that in awking meetings ..

It appears in MH its quite an awful awking world ....The job promo advert above shows the latest NHS policy . Its urges User-Parrots to become Parrot-trooper Guards ... In fact in Britain everyone needs guards and performance checking and general intrusion dressed up as democracy and usefulness because in truth its the only illiusion that makes people believe there are awking jobs or roles to be had ..

UserVoice Rebel .

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mental Health User Spots Giant Miracle Yellow Spurting Fountain Statue In The NHS Ratlantic

Wowwwwww......! Its miraculous what some Service Users spot when out in those harsh health seas isnt it ?

We at UserWatch must praise Kakatoo for rowing and sketching heaving sights simultaneously ...How many hands does Kakatoo have ...?

Amazing !!!!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Mental Health Dog Island Without Health Beaches

Under the green sky
By Patient Dogcatraz

Where the DOH policy sharks
Can roam in foam

There's the social links
Empty soul belt ring
Where accountability
Has no home

Mind you
There's a Dog-bone moon
In the sky

And two Sigmund windows
For intelligence,

And a wise greeny-black
Roaming eye

Who would have thought
HMS Reality
Is little but a place of sink

And that Crusoe
Wants to remain where he is
To enjoy
Island drink

So it goes ....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Johnny's Post Trauma And Mental Health - World War One

By Silvis Rivers From

Commentary : Coming Up To November 11th 2008

There was no place for labels such as "Post Traumatic Syndrome" 90 years ago ...Just the "thousand year look" - white faced and dissociated . And some named it "Shell Shock" ...Why?

Shells were not just designed to explode on impact in the field, but in the air too ...So there was a steel rain of peppering death over soldiers in the field sometimes ..Living with a death rain of steel teeth and watching it rip friends apart will put men into an internal outer orbit - so they leave their white shocked skin selves far behind - on battle planet ..

I recall a man who used to have a "dog in his skin"....It was a shrapnel "dog" and he made it "sit up and beg" by manipulation and he showed it to children and made them smile when the dog settled down on his arm ...

He never told them how the shells in packs tore his friends apart... The tragic and mad and gallows humour though all link hand in hand - its the way of some soldiers

Today a BBC documentary on a Cornish man showed him remember the battle and deaths of friends and they filmed him on the french field of war - putting a wreath at last where his friend died .. 90 years it took to talk and join some tears together . Of honour, and war's stupidity, of some kind of gains, and of loss that saw another World War arise ..What a mix of a race we all are ..

Post Trauma though is a valuable locked in testimony often untold . Often socially unreceived because human pain is taboo and the truth of our collective madness is taboo. We have to allow people to own it more quickly on an individual level and to receive its implied terrible critique - of all of us ....

World War One ? Its worth remembering to the core ..

Johnny's Poem

Jack's left with

The clay god
Who in the rain runs red

And the mud-poke-bullets stand up
From the soil
Like the bone fingers
Of the machine gun dead

John's poppy is a time machine
He has learned to dread

For armies and those ripping screams
Under thunder tanks

Come out of the tracks in his head

Silvis Rivers ....Nov 10th 2008


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Mental Health - Ray Sandford's US Story Of Court Ordered Community ECT

We will carry this story from Mind Freedom International because there will be interest in the UK especially as "Treatment orders in the Community" can now be legally ordered on mental health patients .

MindFreedom International -- 7 November 2008

Human Rights Alert: Involuntary Electroshock - please forward

If it's Wednesday, then Ray Sandford is

Getting Escorted from His Home

for Another Forced Electroshock

Minnesota Resident Gets Involuntary Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
On A Weekly Ongoing "Outpatient" Basis

ACTION: How You Can Easily E-mail Minnesota Governor (See Below)

by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

The past Wednesday morning after the historic USA election what were you doing? I know what Ray Sandford, 54, was doing.

Each and every Wednesday, early in the morning, staff shows up at Ray's sheltered living home called Victory House in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, adjacent to Minneapolis. Staff escorts Ray the 15 miles to Mercy Hospital.

There, Ray is given another of his weekly electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments, also known as electroshock. All against his will. On an outpatient basis.

And it's been going on for months.

Ray says the weekly forced electroshocks are "scary as hell." He absolutely opposes having the procedure. He says it's causing poor memory for names such as of friends and his favorite niece. "What am I supposed to do, run away?" Instead, Ray phoned his local library's reference desk to ask about human rights groups, and the librarian referred him to MindFreedom International.

Ray called me at our office here at MindFreedom International about two
weeks ago. At first I wasn't sure I believed him. Of course, MindFreedom International has documented proven cases of electroshock against the expressed wishes of the subject all over the world, including in the USA. MindFreedom succeeded in having the United
Nations World Health Organization call in writing for a global ban on all involuntary electroshock.

But this is the first time I've been on the phone with someone getting court-ordered forced shock while living out in the community, on an outpatient basis.

This is the ultimate double whammy.

I confirmed Ray's story by calling two staff at Victory House as well as his court-appointed conservator, Tonya Wilhelm of Luthern Support Services of Minnesota.

Ms. Wilhelm said, "We are following the letter of the law." She said the State of Minnesota had secured a variety of court orders that require Ray to have forced electroshock against his expressed wishes. Ms. Wilehlm says it's all legal and she can't do anything about it.

Krista Erickson, chair of MindFreedom's Shield Campaign, sees it differently. "This is terrible. This is a serious human rights violation that should stop. I hope MindFreedom members and supporters speak out. Even if Minnesota is following the letter of the current law, the law ought to be changed. And Ray has not had the legal power to appeal to higher courts."

I pointed out to Conservator Wilhelm that the public -- when they find out about forced electroshock -- is passionately opposed to their taxpayer money being used to force such brutality on citizens. Ms. Wilhelm did let slip that what is happening to Ray -- involuntary
outpatient electroshock -- is not that uncommon in Minnesota.

But when Ms. Wilhelm found out we at MindFreedom are issuing one of our public human rights alert to you and others, at Ray's repeated request, she said something chilling.

Ms. Wilhelm claimed she had a legal right to stop MindFreedom!

Ms. Wilhelm told me :

"Only I can give you permission legally to say anything publicly about this."

I pointed out we are not a medical facility, and that if she falsely claims we're doing anything illegal then this is defamation. Which really is illegal.

Ms. Wilhelm laughed loudly in the phone, said : "let our lawyers talk," and hung up on me. I hope she hung up to read the First Amendment.

Let's disobey Ms. Wilhelm!

Spread Ray's alert far and wide! Speak out against this electrical torture, now! Because... Remember... While the world marvels at the power of USA democracy: If it's Wednesday morning, then Ray Sandford is being led from his home -- which is supposed to be his castle -- to get another weekly forced procedure that can cause brain damage and wipe out memories.

E-mail your firm but polite message to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

SAMPLE MESSAGE -- your own words are best:

"Investigate the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford. Every Wednesday morning, MindFreedom says Ray is brought from Victory House in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for forced electroshock. Stop all forced electroshock today! Taxpayer money should not fund torture!" [Your name/contact.]

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mental Health - Through The Valley Of Debt - And Treasury Vultures?

UK Government Walks Through The Valley Of Debt

Will The NHS Magical "Surplus" Be Raided ?

by silvisrivers | November 4, 2008

Well now, it does not take much to wobble a UK health planet made unstable with various contrary gravity forces around it - does it ?

The sudden deep gravity lurch towards recession has seen the UK Treasury eyeing up the NHS surpluses created by the Foundation Trusts . That is £2.5 Billion . Now there's a bit of rocket fuel for you ...

Of course locally, UserWatch is aware of the UK Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust declaring its last financial year surplus as £3.9 million.

The Primary Care Trusts with whom the Trust's are supposed to have planning partnership (PCT's are the planners , local redesigners and commissioners of services ) are frankly chaosed with so many new Govt imperatives . For example : becoming Foundation Trusts themselves and also amalgamating and also reconfiguring services galore - and also - and also, because the "also's" just go on and on .. Yes you've understood, the PCT's are "also-rated"....From having to digest too much ..

But joking aside, this is dangerous for some people's health because some patients just do not get timely services .. And of course the £2.5 billion surplus will be put into buildings mainly (A Keynsian economic strategy) - at a time when patients are increasingly short bed stays and are pushed to be cared for in their own homes ... Oh a time too when allowances for care will be means tested pretty severely ...In mental health, Service Users have for some time seen the great "you are on your own" push by the Dept Of Health - dressed up as a community care ..So this is nothing new to them .

But do not take our word for the problems we outline - have a look at what Bill Moyes (Regulator "Monitor" for the Foundation Trusts) says :

"The head of Monitor has warned it would be "completely bizarre" for the Department of Health to claw back foundation trust surpluses.

Executive chairman Bill Moyes' comments came after HSJ revealed the Treasury was considering holding on to all or part of the surplus to ease the financial crisis.

Mr Moyes told HSJ: "The surpluses are there mainly for capital investment. They have money and they are ready with specific plans.

"The chancellor is saying he wants to see capital investment brought forward. It would be bizarre for the Treasury to be saying that with one voice, and then to have the DH taking away the ability of foundation trusts to make those investments [with another]."

The Treasury has proposed a Keynesian-inspired strategy to stimulate the economy in the impending recession by bringing forward public investment in construction projects.

Mr Moyes said the foundation trust cash surplus, which reached £2.5bn in June, meant they were ready and able to play their part in that. He has already advised foundation trusts to bring forward any capital plans where they can.

"If David Nicholson and the Treasury think it would be helpful I am very happy to put that in writing to the foundations and to encourage them [further]. But my sense is they don't need encouragement; what they need is clarity from their commissioners."

Mr Moyes said the barrier preventing foundation trusts from investing their surpluses was that primary care trusts did not know what new services they wanted locally.

"My message for the DH is that instead of thinking about taking away foundation surpluses, encourage PCTs to focus on where they want new facilities so that foundations have a basis for spending money sensibly," he said. "

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mental Health : The Dept Of Health's Repetitive Pyramidicity Syndrome

UserWatch Reports

After several years of attempts at "Patient and Public Involvement" the Dept of Health (DOH) are at it again with a new document . Its called "Real Involvement" It was released on the 30th Oct 2008 ..

Its a bit of shame the document was so big at 6.1 MB because it does present problems of download for some members of the public and when oh when are the DOH going to produce simple black and white text versions for easy and economical printing ?

At 143 pages its hardly a User friendly document to encourage "Real Involvement". Most Service Users we know are already yawning at it and could not be bothered to read it - that is if they even have a computer.

Meanwhile Local Involvement Network (LINks) spiderlings are emerging out of the re-constructed hiatus web that Labour politicians and the DOH bureaucracy with its fear of real patient democracy created . Certain signs of some vision are occuring with some LINks in the UK but it is very early days and there is plenty of time for background concealed top level NHS attack on lay bodies like LINks, that dare to criticise local service delivery .

After years too of DOH politically correct "equality practice" good old class riddled Britain is hardly Mr Health equality either . We note a recent Health service Journal article provokes concern - it followed on from the recent Press Association's UK wide statement with a breakdown of Primary Care Trusts who were not keeping to good health-equality delivery practice :

NHS services in the poorest and most needy parts of the country are being systematically
underfunded to the benefit of the healthiest and wealthiest.

Analysis by HSJ of the budgets allocated to GPs to pay for drugs and hospital care for their patients show that the wealthiest tenth of the population are, on average, more than 2 per cent overfunded while the poorest tenth are 2 per cent underfunded.

The analysis, confirmed by health economists and the Department of Health, shows the inverse care law - which says those who need healthcare the most are least likely to get it - remains true nearly 40 years after the phrase was first coined.

Still in the field of "Real Involvement" UserWatch notes an article by Richard Knowles in the Health Service Journal . Richard looks at the use of the terms "Command and Control" - clearly wanting to rescue the terms from the critics of the bureaucractised NHS and make them re-cast as worthy of use ..

The problem is, the NHS is so weighted with bureacracy and centre-ism or inside giant existential glass dome protection zones that patients lose out out on REAL local control . Real local control cannot be exercised until the patient democracy has much closer power-to-purchase, and the accountability mechanisms to monitor that complimentarily lie inside local connections, as local in fact as General Practitioner Doctors (GP's) and local lay committee of public volunteers who can scrutinise the process over years for fairness .

The NHS in truth cannot let go of its over attachment to the patient because the DOH itself cannot let go and the Govt cannot let go either of the idea that State knows best ....

The clogged up area that militates against "Real Involvement" appears to be a whole section of both DOH functions and local NHS functions which can actually be made worse by Govt's ideas that everyone should change into quasi-state-bureacrats in order to be "really involved" and protect the NHS ..

The truth is people want health budgets and not health bureaucracy and what we do have is command and control diversions from that simple truth ...In mental health (MH) do we have better recovery cycles for patients - do we have real therapy choices ? No... Do we have ways to negotiate with a State bent on turning everyone into a worker ? No .

Locally the NHS in Birmingham creates more and more of its own in house solutions and attracts a new form of patient bureaucracy to it . This idea was created by a combination of DOH and Dept of Work and Pensions planning plus some MH charities keen on getting in on the provider side to become job creation schemes themselves . We think this is questionable because of genuine lost treatment opportunity to other patients . At UserWatch we have seen that inside the local mental health services , the "assimilated" patients, are patients that are fit enough to work elsewhere .

Its just another case of bureaucratic diversion which will be spun out as creating work - paradoxically though, we think it keeps others quietly more disabled...

But what is happening to the patients who are not "equal to it all" ? - Lets get back to that theme - they are not the "healthiest or even the wealthiest" - and neither the most articulate - we think what is happening nationally on large scales is reflected in the way even at local levels in mental health services the NHS creates new mini enriched bureau-pyramids that also inverts the care law ...

UserWatch Says :

Look its simple : The Basic LAW OF GOB ( GOB'S LAW) says - if you are wealthier and healthier you have a bigger and more articulate voice, and that is the point, the real practice of hearing the patient voice has to be allocations of care given via Patient Choice - "bottom upwards" as close to the patient as possible , and monitored locally and genuinely by the public with completely independent advocacy for those at bottom of the voice pile ..Its not "ideal" its REAL ...

At UserWatch we are sick of seeing MH charities locally being both providers of services (NHS contracted) and also in this cross organisationality so called "advocates" for some patients ... That is not right either - its a conflict of interest position and these exist more and more with the State becoming enmeshed without boundaries into all kinds of new types of organisations that have few mechanisms of real accountability ..

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Local Involvment Network LINKSYCORNS Exist - Magical Screechism Proves it

Cartoon By Linkasso Brother Of Kakatoo

News from the caves of local Magical Screechism proves that in Birmingham the Local Involvement Network set up by the Birmingham UK Local Council to scrutinise and monitor health and social care matters locally has formed a Getting Going Group - a GEE GEE GEE...

Interesting ....Sooooo the LINKSYCORN does exist it is not merely a fairytale animal ...Its a GEE GEE GEE !!!

Ya Gotta Larf ...

Releasing The Thunder Voices Of Rape, War And Post Trauma

Art By Silvis Rivers (Copyright)

Commentary By Silvis Rivers

It is terribly moving to watch people in a deep rescuing feeling-therapy re-connect the thunderous but desperate voice of war trauma or rape, or early childhood abandonment, for these themes join together and show a core human need for protection . Its a protection that disappeared for them and life is left naked to be ravaged in one way or another. That life cries on the edge of its felt-death and re-experience of a kind of destruction - its like watching a small planet end. Even in an observer its rips away with its raw winds of human truth .

And yet there is a moving great integrity in these connections . Courage and humanity enough to move a God .. History claiming itself back to the core of a living document of soul that truly belongs with us all - not in some special existential or chemical zone of incarceration ...

It also shows up a previously terrible and effective barrier for the person to get well from emotionally traumatic events and that is the powerful reflexive action by the brain to partly split from events . To dissociate .

There is no doubt that our cultures constantly recruit this feature of dissociation and partly do so perversely as a functional virtue, yet when this socially functional virtue-reservoir is full up enough of internal pain and trauma, then it spills forever and creates its host of internally dislocated and weird effects - here comes "madness" and a crippled internal life unless a way is found to drain it and not "chain it"...

At UserWatch we will speak up for that kind of therapeutic travel for time and time again we have found UK NHS services and certainly in post industrial Birmingham UK dealing with people labelled as Borderline Personality Disorder and various forms of psychosis and severe neuroses and other hells in the experience of the human continuum as though these things are not socially and familially connected. They are .

Our culture is still afraid and controlling, and disconnects the partly disconnected all over again to keep them disconnected and it does not allow them the grace of their terrible story and the grace of socially borne full witness. Connection and re-connection over time makes the self slowly create a home in itself . But others too can make healing faster if they can admit the sorrows of the facts of trauma .

Yes, connection and re-connection and the growth of the emotional-Self to tolerate itself and its memories and feelings and yet feel its core of humanity is not merely a "personal experience "- it can be a socially allowed one too - that is always part of the problem - that the self is always set inside the emotional prohibitions of culture and family .. And often permanently chained there.

That is where the primary mental health stigma still is, in the emotional underbelly of our cultures : The Taboo against feeling pain and connecting it and witnessing it into slow growth - into real human stories ..

And with that witness a new critique of who we are and where we are and why we war and rape and abandon the weak begins...Its a hope perhaps that we will all slowly walk as a culture one day towards rescuing human pain with fuller witness and not psychiatric and chemical services that often keep history so completely chained and away from real human languages ..

Today is a day when UserWatch puts a story here below about war and sexual trauma and its effects but we could be just as easily writing and echoing and showing other writers stories about family trauma , child abuse, and the mechanisms that keep people mad and crazed for years ....We all keep each other mad until we find mechanisms of joined up emotional acceptance of feelings and experiences and making languages around it all for as long as it takes to make some collective sanity ..


Sexual Trauma Haunts Many Female War Veterans

Study found 1 in 7 from Iraq, Afghanistan who sought medical care were victims

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Shedding light on the challenges facing women in the military, a new study shows that more than one in seven female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA medical care reported experiencing sexual trauma during their service.

Posted October 28, 2008

Veterans who reported sexual trauma, such as rape and threatening sexual harassment, were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

"These mental health conditions are getting recognized, diagnosed and treated," said study co-author Joanne Pavao, a researcher with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System's National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in California.

Pavao and her colleagues analyzed the records of 89,960 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who sought medical care in the VA health-care system between Oct. 1, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2006. They were expected to present their findings Tuesday in San Diego at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting.

A total of 1,849 women -- 14.5 percent -- reported experiencing sexual trauma during their service; 471 men -- 0.6 percent -- said they'd experienced sexual trauma.

A study released in 2007 found that 22 percent of female veterans and 1 percent of male veterans reported sexual trauma in VA health-care surveys conducted in 2003. That study looked at veterans of all types, not just from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The new study found that these men and women were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than those who didn't report experiencing sexual trauma.

Among women who reported experiencing sexual trauma, 76 percent were diagnosed with a mental condition, compared to 47 percent of other female veterans. The rates were similar in men.

According to the study, the most common mental health conditions among the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders (which cause stress and other problems during certain situations), and drug addiction or alcoholism. All were more common in men and women who reported sexual trauma; post-traumatic stress disorder was much more common in women than men in that group.

It's not clear where the sexual trauma occurred. "It's sexual trauma that occurred during active military duty," Pavao said. "It could have occurred at any point during the service history of these men and women."

All veterans who seek health care within the VA system are screened for sexual trauma, Pavao said. "When this is detected, they're offered free health care for all conditions that the clinicians determine to be related to military sexual trauma. This is part of the VA's large-scale efforts to treat these conditions in a timely way."

If they get treatment, many women who experienced sexual trauma can recover, said Edna B. Foa, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania who studies sexual violence.

About 20 percent of women who are raped in the general population develop post-traumatic stress disorder, she said. "Even if they don't meet the criteria of the disorder, many of them will have symptoms that will cause them distress, difficulties having sexual relationships, etc....," she said. "Having a sexual trauma is serious."

More information

Learn more about sexual trauma in the military from the VA. "