Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mental Health Arts User Group North Birmingham Community Arts Makes Local Connections

Vesey Arts & Crafts And North Birmingham Community Arts

USERWATCH April 2008

One of the problems of a User Led Arts group we at UserWatch note is making the break away from the statutory services and the merry go round of the "mental health economy" populated as it is with circles and cycles of fitter ex Users and large charities all looking for economic opportunities . We do believe all Users should get development grants for activities that will enable any part of of their more broken creativity to flourish and bring about social good

We can see that this notion of breaking away though is not easy because MH Users are not fit people - have irregular capacities and are not underpinned very easily by local support grants to sustain their strategies across a few years of finding their feet - even to the point of launching a few of their members off into genuine mainstream activities and even some types of work ..

We do know of mental health members of North Birmingham Community Arts that spontaneously sought employment chances after going there .

"They were spontaneous acts of having gained some strength by members who created their own pace of recovery ....." A member of NBCA reported to us

This is why its good to note that NBCA are looking outwardly for some help and connection from local businesses and that strategy is to be welcomed. Its good that NBCA is also celebrating local connections and we hear it will do that a lot more to attract support for its aims ..


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mental Heath Champions Rise To Fight The Incapacity Benefit Government Dragons

Well done Cecilia Weightman for starting the Incapacity Benefit petition - it is time those that care about mental health (MH) Users on Incapacity Benefit in the UK showed their colours.

The UK Govt is showing their colours for sure , yeah... as skull and crossbones on black and white, with their RAID ON WELFARE POLICY or WELFARE TO CORPORATE WEALTH POLICY as it is known to Dave Freud (main welfare to work advisor to Gov't) of the wonderful merchant banking sector that gets so much right - eh Dave ? .....

Fancy a sub prime dance Dave ?

The mental health charities in the UK we think are two faced despite their false claim of hand wringing anxiety on behalf of MH Users now being attacked unreasonably by the "Welfare State" and booted off benefits.. (Here is a case from a staff based blog)

They are too far up the f-arse and colon-y of Government policy to be objective and to be trusted . They have largely supported, cross-organisationally from their special links with the Dept Of Health, with their mates running parts of the lottery , the massive national charity Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health's (SCMH) business-case attack on mental health Users especially with their PATHWAY TO TROLLEY's (welfare to work) approach ....

SCMH is backed by the Sainsbury supermarket family who power it with the Gatsby Foundation that donates the funds into SCMH

SCMH along with the Dept Of Health UK , planned the National Institute For Mental Health Education (NIMHE) (in 2000 - 2001 ) which has wasted 100 million (2004 - 8) by taking eliter and fit mental health ex-Users up and down the UK and creating a bureaucracy that has become nothing more than a major work-drive as opposed to a real-choices-of-treatments-and method-of-support-agendas for Users ... We think many Users could have emerged better and quicker into the world over those years of NIMHE's existence - if they had been able to get supports - which many did not .. We know them and they are more disabled now !

Work ofcourse is just one way of recovery and a valid end point for some - so is getting the right treatment and supports - still a great trial for many despite all the re-configgery-jiggery of "services" and so called help ...

But the new way to make MH Users disappear, is into the benefit-stigma Bin of the Freud's-Void . Boot them off benefits make them eventually even more ill - and perhaps emptily die in the arms of the Suicide God often strangely named on his "T" shirt as :


"They don't give a shit because they are fit"

(What a betrayal all this is ..)

Here's what Cecilia writes though at greater length on the Prime Ministers E Petition Site :

"More details from petition creator

The government plans to introduce changes to incapacity Benefit in April 2010 that mental health charities have already voiced concerns over. It is feared that many people with mental health problems will be adversely affected due to the stress that such arbitrary measures of evaluation will introduce. This new system will apply to all existing claimants and assumes accuracy in mental health diagnosis which many of us already know doesn't exist. Many of us believe that such measures will only attach further stigma and prejudice to those with mental illness. A large number of people will fall through the system and fall into poverty and a system of expectation and penalty that they will be ill equipped to deal with. Please sign this protest to prevent this kind of change in favour of a fair standard of living and care for the vast majority of people on Incapacity Benefit who are genuine. "

[Just In

We have had a tip off that one of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust's User Voice Staff might have signed the petition too .. One Barbara Norden apparently ? Well that's her right and we support that right . Its a democracy !!! ]

Links Mental Nurse (see post below too from MN)

"Dirty scrounging benefit scum

Since the rules are about to be changed to make it harder to claim incapacity benefit (presumably in order to fend off the hordes who are supposedly bleeding the system dry claiming spurious illness), here’s an account (reprinted by permission of the author) of a mental health service user’s tussles with the DWP.

She doesn’t mention her diagnosis, but since she’s on Quetiapine and has just been discharged from the Crisis Team, I’m going to take a wild guess and suggest it’s not a mild case of the psycho-sniffles.

Anyway, she writes to inform us that her bank balance currently stands at the princely sum of £1.01. Here’s why:

My incapacity benefit was stopped because apparently I’m not ill enough. My tribunal is on the 22nd of this month and it’ll be approaching seven months since it was stopped.

I made a new claim in January and am still waiting for an appointment before they can process my claim. It’s another department which deals with booking appointments and they’ll have to call me back. It’s always the same.

I also can’t claim Jobseekers because, shock horror, I’m not seeking a job. They won’t accept a Dr’s note for this because I’ve failed one of their medicals in the last six months.

If I could work at the moment I would. As it is, I can’t. My CPN, psychiatrist, and GP all think I can’t, the DWP think I can. Stopping my incapacity benefit has made my illness worse, no doubt about it.

So next time you hear David “Tosser” Cameron going on about getting people off benefits. Think of the people who have already been fucked over by the system, who have had to endure humiliating and stressful medical examinations because the word of three medical professionals isn’t good enough. The system doesn’t work as it is. Making the rules stricter is just going to mean more appeals (costing lots of money), more tribunals (costing lots of money), and probably more mentally ill people ending up dead because they can’t cope with the stress of all this bullshit. I suppose that would save the government money.

So, to summarise: (mental Nurse says)

Her CPN thinks she’s too ill to work.

Her psychiatrist thinks she’s too ill to work.

Her GP thinks she’s too ill to work.

The DWP thinks she’s just fine and dandy, ergo no benefits.

And all this before they start tightening up the rules.

If anyone wants to e-mail me any similar horror stories, I’m on

zarathustra at mentalnurse dot org dot uk"

[Just In

We have had a tip off that one of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust's User Voice Staff might have signed the petition too .. One Barbara Norden apparently ? Well that's her right and we support that right . Its a democracy !!! ]

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mentally Ill And Stressed Out Gibraltar Apes To Get Lethal Injections

Apetoon By Kakatoo Roving UserWatch Toonster


From a Comment By Silvis Rivers On The Original Story Run By The Telegraph

With thanks and recognition to Amy Judd on

This UserWatch story-commentary is about mental health stressed Gibraltar Barbary Apes deviating from their rock asylum and possibly quieter caves of some hunger. Their deviation we think is partly inspired too by their lack of pre-colonial original and natural habitat stimulation. 25 of them are on the rampage and are pestering tourists etc .

Space is nice isnt it - when its yours ....?

Mind you they were uprooted in 18th Century - like almost everyone else's ancestors - and the stimulation was plenty then okay - they saw slaved peoples being treated badly - and their great great great grand-apes were used as target practice by British soldiers ..

Having phoned up Gibralatar Cave Asylum and actually talked to "Ak Ak Ak Ak" the rebel Ape leader - UserWatch learns he has been reading about the Palestinian history and Usama Bin Laden and Catholic history in Northern Ireland as well as Community Care (despair) for the mental health populations across the world and the UK . Yes...."AK AK AK AK" is quite a post-colonial and displaced-being expert

His Cross Species Theory is , large numbers of humans will always exploit the weak, build on their homelands in special labelled groups and help displace them from their original primitive and feeling nature . He declares sadly Terror-Apes and Mental Health Users have something in common - bands of them will die of lethal injection (slowly or more quickly ) so the authorities can eradicate their deeper mad desire to have a truer nature of their own - in their own soul spaces and places ...Life ...And some real inner and outer homeland ....

God Bless " Ak Ak Ak AK" UK Survivors and UserWatch loves you ..See you in the void-jungles brother along with some Palestinians ! "

Eleg-ape. 2008

Gibraltar brought them

To the soldiers' target gun

And let them on the run

These quick fingers of

The galaxy Ape's.

Ahhhh ,

But then there was always us

After light

And the way we distorted

Natures shapes ...

Silvis Rivers .


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mental Health Fun In Erdington Birmingham UK On St George Festival Day 19th April 2008

So you want to see the Erdington UK Dragon ? You believe in it ? The mad cats do in Erdingto-m..At UserWatch we have the proof from the Erdington Animal Farm that dragons might exist and are not hallucinations or just bad NHS service staff ..

Below is a British Broadcasting Ditch (BBD) Announcement
with voice over by Lippy Attenborough

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mental Health Choir Sing Out Deformist Policy

Cartoon By Kakatoo UserWatch Roving Toonster

The New Labour Deformist Policy In UK Mental Health

UserWatch Ri-ports 14th April 2008

Its a scream isnt it ? Or maybe its quite a few. Or even a lot . Orchestered maybe ? Yes we think so at UserWatch - like Kakatoo (our cartoonist) ..

The NHS in Birmingham UK we see recently is so Top-Down laden with New-Labour deformist plans for how mental health patients should process their feeling and thinking, that its going to help some of them get Computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapies in nearby local libraries.

There they will be able to do computer exercises on looking at negative thinking and how in theory that is supposed to be the trigger for cycles of bad feelings . Maybe you think we are being harshly tuned about all this - so lets see ...

The idea is the alter the patterns of "co-reinforcing negative thoughts and feelings" with some intellectual exercises in the belief that thinking in new ways will dominate inner life and eradicate bad feelings ... This is an incredibly superficial and limited application and although Pavlov's dog and a few people with simpler conditioned reflexes might appreciate it, the rest of more complex mental health Users will want to join the choir of howling with us ..

Friendly staffies (which are rare but lovely) passed onto us very clear documents which propose Computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in local libraries in Birmingham . It appears that the newly merged pan-Birmingham UK Primary Care Trusts service re-designers (who hold the commissioning powers for purchase of services) are trying to fufil the National Institute For Clinical Excellence (NICE) 2006 guidelines on CCBT which pushes CCBT at Users as though its a real answer for many with depression and anxiety problems ...Pity Users dont have a choice of treatments but in most cases their treatment will be gatekeepered by minimum-cost anxious staff ..

Well, we wrote here above, about the theory of looking at co-reinforcing patterns of inner thought and feeling in order to alter negative feelings and improve outlook. In a spirit of validation of the mental health Users experience, could we posit a new System Behaviour Cognitive Therapy (SBCT) for contrary Govt policies and NHS ?

Does the deformed system of health services co-reinforce crisis and bad feelings in mental health Users ? Yes it does ... And this is often reported to staff who now have more belly up and tickled unions . So will the system get SBCT therapy or will it make do with the idealised-image NHS system with its we-know-best rhetoric that often avoids validating the experience of the mental health Users ?

We think there should be a patient (Users) stocked library for staff to get SBCT therapy and the volumes that should be read by staff are the untold stories of pained Users that need listening to, and whistleblowing on with some real moral responsibility and backbone .

Users need helping to therapeutically mourn, and cry out about a bad system too on the outside of their lives rather than being told to merely piss about with thought exercises on computers in libraries on their own - NOTE : for "Social Inclusion" and "Drop In" - the terms used in the papers we have seen.....

Time and time again we meet real mental health Users rather than the Dept of Health theoretical-ones, or self marionetting versions. The ones we meet are not altering their mainly now silenced opinions to slickly suit NHS Trusts images for the Govt and bureaucrats. The tale we hear is often of a rotational cycle of no service response when needed - of crisis - of isolation in the community - of labeling people out of service engagement and delivery - of no help with welfare benefit crisis, after mental health crisis - and of no choice of treatments (and more lately from a Govt advisor stigmatising them as welfare benefit scamsters in the black economy)

NO its not everyone that experiences this sickening regular serviceless story - but it is many who will not enter the national "Patient Survey" - because they are part of the regular User-Void.....With no voice or choice often .. In fact they are refugees of silenced minds and quiet knowing looks ..

Sometimes you cannot hear their sceaming with your ears . But you can with your heart when its open enough and not Govt policy clogged .. But empathy with responsibility, is actually quite rare in the system-driven NHS UK mental health services .

Lets all howl with Kakatoo's scream-choir now ...

Links : CCBT Type Site (free)



Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The New-You-Prison Of Mental Health - Scotland and UK

Cartoon By Kakatoo UserWatch Reporter And Toonist

The NHS Imprisoned New User-Self

And Prisoners Of Pain That Kills

UserWatch Reports

In Fulwood Preston North England April 7th we hear about a Social Worker being stabbed and killed and the details as yet are still to come out about the Mental Health (MH) "care in the community " User who appears responsible .

We at UserWatch hope that background comes out for public view soon but are aware that the authorities, especially around mental health services, tend to use "confidentiality" as a credible delay methods , and that merges into elongated time itself that also helps to hide their roles for years and years (See Glaister Butler Enquiry and Policemans death) ..

The death of a Social Worker by stabbing is regretable but the full context needs to heard and ideally more quickly than is usual so we can all respond publically more thoughtfuly alongside the realisation that MH Users across the UK of all varieties (severe too) will be due for new Gov't inspired Dept of Work Incapacity Benefit re-assessments as of late 2008. The Govt had better think again we say if it exposes MH Users to more and more pressures on top of ones in their lives already.

"Care in the comunity" if you are one of the "workless class" as well as an MH User, is a dire and often a grey life. It is often more like a new paradox form of social prison because with no asylums now, there are no greened up asylum communities of some common place of identification for damaged peoples to walk and meet in.

The fitter MH Users though are recrutied by the Mental Health NHS Trusts in the UK but mainly they become like a bubble of promotional use in an NHS that is actually heavily compromised politically to "Look Good"

Many asylums beyond their more strictured days just needed socially modernising internally, and mainstream society needed to merge into them while preserving a special internal community of sometimes very genuine asylum.

"Care in the Community" is often more like "prison in the cave of no community" without hope of release and sometimes very little companionship ....That's what we pick up from Users across years who are less fit mentally and physically and not are fitted in mobility terms to get around to the new selective inclusion practice of what is actually privileged User-Junketting that the NHS Trusts ( and CSIP/NIMHE) have now arranged at areal cost in place of real community......

Ofcourse all this "Beyond The Water Towers" philosophy was encouraged by Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health - the national charity that is virtually the Govt architect of mental health modernisation ...It sounded radical to get rid of the asylums but the reality has been displacement to other forms of nowhere or despair for many ...

One of Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health UserWatch's networkers has some associations with the Preston area and says they are not entirely surprised at the events there because like all areas of the UK, Social Care Adult MH Services in Preston too have faced downward pressure in its Social Care budgets.

Disturbingly there has been a pattern of a lack of staff willingness in Preston to enfranchise Direct Payments that we have heard about (a payment to help MH Users shape their own social inclusion) and though we cannot say this is relevant in this case, it does show that fully enfranchised and fully aided use of this form of payment to shape social inclusion is like Birmingham, it has been underplayed and has been underused.

Social Workers themselves across the UK are afraid of Direct Payments because it comes out of the Social Care Adult MH budget and we have heard from staff and more knowledgeable MH Users consistently that Direct Payments threatens Social Workers jobs....

MH Users who might have wanted more help specific to where they live are thus partly imprisoned by Social Care staff insecurities that are not acknowledged by the Govt and robustly and consistently steered through ....Worse still, staff will not whistleblow on this enough through their Unions and they should but whose interests are they serving ?

In Scotland today the BBC on TV have interviewed a senior official for prisons who has pointed out that a large amount of the prison population has mental health issues. This was reported about by the BBC in 2004 in Scotland too.

"Nine out of 10 women admitted to the jail have addiction problems. Eight in 10 have a history of mental health problems and 60% have been abused, his report says. Mr McLellan said: "Medical records confirm the impressions formed during even a short inspection, that some of these women are very disturbed indeed."

"It is unrealistic to expect prison to cure mental illness or to overcome the effects of abuse."

There you go, over years, Gov't policy systemically punishes the mental health inadequate and, rather than assist their lives into the best function they can have . It encourages diversionary selective inclusion within the NHS fitter User-groups which are trotted out and promoted as "modernisation". It creates a method of payments (Direct Payments) that creates a conflict of interest for Social Care staff (their jobs are under threat) to enfranchise and administer more openly. It creates a route of no asylum and no social inclusion for many, but crisis and prison instead. The British Medical Association for UK doctors too is voicing concerns about the use of prisons for those with mental health problems .. (See Feb 20th 2008 BMA Report)

We at UserWatch asked a couple of older MH Users what they felt. One said .

"Oh decades ago they (the State services) would screw you down so you not could talk about stuff disturbing you - they still do in new ways or they fucking well twist it or alter what you have said - and they still have their ward pets who make them feel good or go to their staff enclaves and tell them the tales they want to hear - only nowadays they pay them - and we are told its for our good and that better mental health is being promoted "

Another said :

"They (the State) imprisoned my mate, did it on a few occaisions , he'd been in care as a youngster and had bad life and he could not talk in way that was joined up well and he had been asking for help off the services but he never could get them to see he needed more. They wore him out and he went angry and mad in the public and the police nabbed him ..."

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mental Health Stress Causes Panic Flight Reflex In Olympic Flame

Cartoon By Kakatoo UserWatch Roving Toonist


April 8th 2008

When interviewed by UserWatch's roving quick sketchster and cheek practitioner Kakatoo, Mr Feerce-Free Flame , complained that he had been grabbed and roughly treated by Chinese secret agents in London when he could see that all the public were really trying to do was light up their free Tibetan cigarettes with his help ..

"But it was Paris that did it "

He claimed, panting symptomatically and nearly out of fire

"The police there were skating about and causing too much wind and it was difficult for me to feel stably sustained by the authorities tactics. You know, a bit like mental health services in the UK . Suddenly I had this strange feeling pulse across me and I just has to run and revolt - after all it was Paris......But I sensed I was also having a freedom panic attack so I thought I would seek a French Fire-cryassist and then I would claim asylum later from anyone warmed by me "

UserWatch-Abroad ( our secret network) has helped Mr Feerce-Free Flame to find a safe house away from the strange blue suited chinese secret agents who wanted Mr Feerce-Free Flame to themselves so they could puff about on Beijing tobacco made of Tibetan scalps and party poo poo dung .....

We have laid on copious supplies of water too and a few hoses to ensure health and safety regulations are followed in the UK asylum location....Asylums ofcourse are now rare in the UK because the NHS and Govt knocked them all down however we have our underground ways ..

At Mr Feerce-Free Flame's request for comfort and heroism we have laid on a picture of the Tibetan flag below so that bold people and brave Tibetan cigarettes can warm his spirit and feel the fire of freedom ..

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Soul Bombs Of Mental Health From Iraq

Eye Wrack USA By Silvis Rivers 2006 copyrighted

UserWatch Comments

5th April 2008

100,000 US Soldiers Mentally Ill

Post Trauma with its electric imprints or states of memories is not hard to understand if you have been through life threatening events which have been severe or even sustained over a longer period of time with the general threat of being killed, deeply hurt, or abused.

Although a good many mental health services in the UK misdiagnose or render patient's conditions concealed under others labels which are anti historic and therefore anti-context. We have seen this done too often with PD "Personality Disorder" - BPD Borderline Personality Disorder and other labels like "Psychosis" and even "Schitzophrenia" and the common thread in some of this mis-location of personal history by label is unusual patterns of threat and distress being borne without a voice that is more humanly received.

It causes in anyone a build up of layers of delayed expression . People may wish to forget powerful and threatening feelings but powerful feelings will not forget them because, they ARE us ..

Soldiers are often more clearly and attributably post traumatised and at UserWatch we have actually known some of them like that . One who died without treatment or full emotional human witness still feeling events of the burning tanks and his friends screaming and dying in them in World War 2...

Godbless Ron .

And some more, but we'll keep that to ourselves .

Psychically armoured for war and death this gives way in some soldiers later to reveal just a human being that chose to defensively adapt themselves for patriotism or in the flow of events to a role that can be terrifying .

Nightmares , smells, sounds, and all manner of details can be triggered after war . The faces of those killed, both enemy and friend, can come back as though there is more to say and more to suffer, to some kind of end. Its all a terrible half broken narrative really of overloaded feelings inside a socially made iron containment that screamed at some level to come out, but were held down behind the collective iron job of war...

The Falklands War has seen in the years after its end about 250 suicides amongst the soldiers who went there ....(See Guardian Story )

So its with some anguish that we read in the BBC that 100,000 US personnel in Iraq now are suffering mental illness

We will not get preachy about this....Oh no ... but we will hang our heads with many in pained thought. And we will say because some of us have been there, and are still there in trauma-land, that soldiers are part of us and we are undoubtably a flawed race, but what has to come home with a full story in trauma is the soul that went through it and has survived with scars . ..Listen to it... Do not forget them...


"A study by the Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes, a budget expert from Harvard, concludes the cost could be at least $3 trillion.

The figure is so large because, Professor Stiglitz says, it includes costs that official estimates do not, such as the cost of the lifetime medical care for 65,000 injured American personnel.

And he says that 100,000 of the 750,000 combat troops who have been discharged so far have been diagnosed with mental health problems.

On the strength of evidence from previous conflicts, he said, still others will have various health and mental problems in the future.

There will be disability pay and health care costs to the US budget that will continue for several decades.

He estimates these costs could add another $600bn to the price of the war.

Friday, April 04, 2008

UserWatch Posts View To The Taxpayers Alliance On Mental Health And Incapacity Benefit

The Taxpayers Alliance are making real headway in getting information made transparent about M.P.s allowances in the UK .. Tony Blair M.P. for instance paid for his £116 TV licence out of expenses claimed

We moseyed-on over there to TPA to see Stardrinker a UserWatch colleague had posted some points about how the National Institute For Mental Health in England (NIMHE) should be cost/benefit examined.

Indeed by implication, how mental health supply sides of treatments chances ought to be measured against the costs of new Labour mental health bureau-staff-ocracies like NIMHE that have by their existence ensured that Users were in their "Community Caves " nicely quietly mad and asylumed, without treaments they could have had if NIMHE had not existed and had not diverted costs (100 million over 4- 5 years 2003/4 - 2008 end)

Here is Stardrinkers post below in answer to the Telegraph's position carried by TPA claiming 100000 addicts claim Incapacity Benefits ..

"The link between really dysfunctionalising disability and for instance poor mental health (MH) is very strong in cases where Incapacity Benefit (IB) is claimed. The media do a very selective take and a major dis-service to most claimants who often live in quite a lot of pain. However there is merit in examining costs and benefits so let me continue .

In the MH community beyond the social engineering new Labour NHS "recovery" squads and mind tinkerers, and at the coalface of suffering, there are plenty of MH Users on IB who would have benefitted from a form of consumerist led "Patient Choice.." The private sector supply could have helped here with "pilots" years ago. Labour did not want that though .

Many MH Users wanted help years ago with altered mind states , paranoia of others, serious depressions, and quite frankly in amongst some of the serious areas of damaged peoples, a whole lot of active but partly hidden episodes of child abused pasts. Rape and serious developmental abuse in the MH (IB dependent) users-community is a very common de-stablising early imprint.

"Try being functional when the world seems projectively like one big sodomising and abusing being " Said a paranoid MH IB User to me before I came on here ....

Many MH Users on IB wanted to progress but with genuinely deeper help, and many have been kept quietly asylumised by the State in their own homes - until ofcourse a "raid on welfare" became necessary for politically driven reasons led by a big banker from the financial community that as we know invents its own reality and money when it wants to .

Some of the mental health Users I have interviewed and seen in the past call the new Labour policy : "community cave" policy ..What they wanted was not to be sick at the taxpayers expense, but to get a life.

Its been almost impossible for many to negotiate their way forward into life with a Top-Down Labour State that has been busy stacking money into bureau-systems that pay for staff and services on paper rather than real treaments which suit MH Users and that means many on IB ..

You know some MH Users are given books to read on "thinking" and "feeling" by the NHS mental health services now.....What the hell happened to direct human hearing and witness, that frankly when done right, is cheaper, and human.

And the bottom line is to help people authentically get off benefits, rather than New Labour stacking up new NHS bureaucracies that divert money from treaments that could have been chosen by MH users sooner to help them into more productive life ..

Therefore : try looking at the National Institute For Mental Health in England (NIMHE) which the Dept of Health constructed and NIMHE's own costs, and then look at the budget for psychotherapy (which will be made deliberately impossible) to help people in communites over the years - 2000 - 8.

NIMHE however from 2003 will have cost over 100 million by 2008-end and a cost benefit analysis set against lost opportunities for treatments of IB MH Users should have been done on it independently - it wasted MH IB Users lives and treatment-chances. Dave Freud should have analysed that too after all analysis runs in his family doesn't it ?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Rise Of British Nationalism In North Birmingham?

The debate over what the Lords have said over neutral benefits from recent immigration is followed hotly by what is happening locally in North Birmingham .

The British National Party (BNP) have put out leaflets in North Birmingham UK in anticipation of a swing towards them in the coming May 2008 elections ...North Birmingham UK consists of a few voter wards (areas) where there is a lot of worklessness and where traditionally the New Labour Party have picked up the main "working class vote".. So what's "mental health" got to do with this story ?

Well it does feature in New Labour's recently targeted push in the North Birmingham UK area to form "Community Interest Groups" (CIG's) which have as their main function to study the barriers to work of the "workless" and those on Incapacity Benefit and get the job brokers in to shift the IB workless back into paradoxically non-existent work - this means targeting the disabled and those with mental health problems on IB and we already know from Alistair Darling Chancellor , ALL IB claimants will be reassessed even after they have been assessed a few times before ..

In mental health terms, the area of North Birmingham saw its main community mental health resource Highcroft Hospital, which was an ex working class "workhouse", sold off cheaply in 2004 for 2+ million by the Dept of Health's own property company. Then the land was developed and resold for mainly middle class housing and 68 luxury apartments ..... The area now built on is worth maybe 60 - 70 million .....

In 2004 onwards the working class in North Birmingham if they were poorly of mind could not get counselling or therapy which even now is in very rationed form. On paper its supposed to be there - just like it was in 2002-3-4-5-6 onwards - but the reality is services without service Users being able to use them properly ..... What we are trying to say is mental health concealed servicelessness has been deeply embedded in the North of Birmingham . At UserWatch we have said time and time again the resources for help ought to have been pushed through the GP supply gateway instead of the Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust which has been a cost cutting, and inward looking ambitious business shaping up for "core" psychosis etc - helped along by New Labour policies .. It has little to do with North Birmingham apart from some skeletal services .

North Birmingham has been identified as a particularly difficult "workless" area. It used to see many people work at factories in the traditional metal bashing areas of Digbeth and Aston and some at car factories in Washwood Heath and some at Witton in a large firm named IMI ...But its mostly a ghosted past now .

Locally North Birmingham particularly Kingstanding is not favoured by business development . So its easy to see why disillusioned "workless" class people just think Labour are part of the problem and we know they do think that .

Many will not vote . Or they might if you put a extra box free so that can put an "X" by a statement : "This system and politicians are shit"......

Hang on ! Maybe the BNP will pick up the understandable "shit factor" then ...?

The Lords findings of no real economic benefit of recent work migrants to the host UK community comes at a time when Labour are defending its open floodgate policy for migrant workers over years . ALL PARTIES have been able avoid talk of "immigration" and "immigrants" because of the trap they set each other of oversensitivity to issues of race. However the situation has changed, EU migrants are "white", and the issues of people's feelings about resource-sharing in the country can no longer be dishonestly twisted and avoided by accusations of racial insensitivity .

The pressures of resource-sharing fall disproportionately on the low paid, the non professionals, those who need housing, and the "workless class" without the right supportive services over years. North Birmingham has some of the worse general health outcomes in all of Birmingham UK

At UserWatch we will not back off from discussing these issues of work migrants in the weave of what is happening to mental health - its part of the moving social strands and we think the BNP literature is symptomatic of years of a lack of debate and help for the now "workless classes"

What does the Lords report say ?

The report, by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, says immigrants have had "little or no impact" on the economic well-being of Britons. The committee, which includes Indian steel tycoon and Labour Party supporter Swraj Paul, rejects the government assertion that immigrants contribute six billion pounds to Britain's gross domestic product (GDP), arguing their effects on per capita income could be counted in pennies.

Controversially, the report suggests that the Labour government led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown impose a cap on non-EU immigration - echoing a long-standing demand of the opposition Tory Party.

The issue becomes political because a cap on migration is a Tory article of faith but is rejected by the Labour government.

Experts fear the capping recommendation by the House of Lords, which is the non-elected upper house of parliament, may end up hitting Indian skilled migrants the most because there is nothing that the British government can do to stop immigration from the EU countries.

"Tata Motors' recent acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover is an example of how Indian companies and labour are together hugely benefiting the British economy. The authors of this report did not travel to India to seek opinion there," Vaz said. "

UserWatch Comment

We have an extra comment about Keith Vaz Labour M.P. who talks about "Tata Motors" (who we think are real innovators) benefiting the British economy. In one sense he is right yet locally in Birmingham, the 2nd largest city in the UK, the benefit will be mainly in the East of Birmingham in the Shirley and Sheldon areas as well as Castle Bromwich and Hall green ... The aspirational working class with middle class incomes in these areas have hung onto their jobs at Rover, but they do not represent North Birmingham and the feelings of the workless-locked people without much opportunity there. The BNP too are aware of that ..

Relocalisation For Mental Health Stability - Let The Car Eat Rust ?

Original Image By Silvis Rivers Poet-Artist

Report By UserWatch 3rd April 2008

Re-localisation For More Mental Health Stability ?

Corporatisation and big system thinking about goods and service delivery at the cheapest possible prices lubricated by cheap oil and the mobility it has brought, have dominated economics and social policy in the UK and elsewhere. This is changing as food and energy prices rise.. Is a form of adaptive "relocalisation" going to take shape because its more efficient in the long run and actually more humane and mentally stabilising .

Well weaving this thinking into awkward mental health supply economics locally in Birmingham, the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust has followed Gov't policy and corporately merged the localities into one big tanker that often cannot see the drowning patients from its well run lean officer cabins .. ..Patient's lives vanish into systems that are mystifyingly staff loaded and yet service-thin for all but a core of admittedly very ill Users who deserve deep care ..

We at UserWatch think this has to change but its unlikely to for years until the decades of dash for big corporatism gives way to a more sobering form of authentic local consumer control .

Global capital and "Macro Economics" - a term favoured by the Prime Minister of the UK Gordon Brown have only taken the adaptive shape of more rapid "global mobility" because of cheap oil . It has powered everything.

China and India have entered industrialisation and labour needs shifted to them as capital adaptively shifted too. Beyond is a different world we think, because with prices rising and aspirational populations the heat of demand for food and mobility is set to rise - along with the price of oil . Amercia is seeing a deep wave of labour-depression occur and this is not unlike the shake out of manufacturing capacity in the UK where in once thriving working class areas in the 1970's and 80's big local depressions occured along with the growth mental instabilities . Everyone needs meaningful social "containment" and partly work represented that. Although the disfigured nature of working class intergenerational traumas throughout the 20th century and disrupted upbringings were bound to assert themselves also .

These "workless classes" to coin a Blairism were the ones in the main where worn out workers from manufacturing went over to Incapacity Benefits (IB) in the 1980's - and 90 's - IB is the disability benefit which is now the subject of the "raid on welfare" attack by New Labour .

"Pathways to Work" as a UK philosophy backed by the Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health and one of their influential doctors there who seconded into the Dept of Work and Pensions is now rolling out across the UK - the job adverts for "Advisors" to the IB workless are increasing ....

Lord Layard from the London School of Economics put the argument forward for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy CBT for all depressed workless people. Although like "Pathways to Work" which was only supposed to be applicable for those on IB for up to 2 years (which has become time unlimited now) CBT has now magically extended its application into all realms of mental health. Its like a new answer that is being flogged by sales hypnosis going on across the UK by eager private sector "trainers" etc ...We have seen it - some of us at UserWatch have partly infiltrated these orgs to see what is happening ... CBT is the new hot happy cake although Govt is stingy even at buying this simplistic Jobs-driven answer ..

King Oil has caused wars because sovereign that he is, we relied on his golden but poisonous gas to expand and create ease of mobility for goods, labour and services. The result has been a kind of "de-localisation" and longer term socially destabilising effect. In the scheme of things and a possible upside future for us all, this is not so bad, because running out of the ability to pay for oil and war will make us rethink about "relocalisations" of goods and services ...We hope ...

Corporatisation only treats the individual as part of its overall Top-Down aims and if a smaller part of a locality or country even down to the individual, is in the way or is problematic - then they vanish economically or some other way in the scheme of things . A way will be found to sell that convincingly. Its anti-local though and anti sensitive to individuals because its vision is based on larger "Macro Economic" targets first and therefore it is partly inherently anti-human and will suppress that part of the negating vision because it is trained to advertise and persuade public vision into diversion ....

At UserWatch we have argued not for a UK Tory answer in real "Patient Choice" of mental health treaments but for a localised consumerist-led human supply side that fits people and genuinely works with them to recover without punitive anti welfare driven Govt social engineering targets.

So far all systems are echoes in the UK, driven by Macro Economics to keep an overheated global economy and its related demands, and wars, alive ...

Let the Cars Eat Rust ?

We wonder now that the new species of metal mobility is choking up everywhere just exactly what people are working for too ? More mobility across the globe ? Higher pay to support it ? Less money for patients because of more pay for staff ? Land for bio-fuel ? To feed cars ? Let them eat rust....?


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health UserWatch Styx Award For Public Dis-service

Drawn And Gifted To The Dept Of Work And Pensions
And Gordon Brown
By Wahoo Kakatoo The UserWatch Roving Cartoonist

UserWatch can announce the winner of April 2008's .....


Although the Dept Of Work and Pensions in the UK are awarded this magnificent digital picture that depicts the God Of Styx being crucified and poor "I" and "B" looking on, we also feel the award can be shared with Sainsbury Centre For Mental Health who have done much to lay the ground for a completely ridiculous extension of Pathways to Work into the severely disabled community and that includes the mental health one .

The stigmatisation of disability and mental health benefit claimants was actually also achieved by a certain Govt advisor, so he gets an arse wipe of recognition too for using the media to create prejudice against benefit claimants with severe or bad enough problems that screw up their ability to be regular minded or regularly fit enough to work .....The Styx Award has a hidden power of occasionally making those who are awarded it more socially real .....Miracles in Govt can happen - probably every 1000 years ..


The Mental Health Breakdown Of King Dollar And Other Madness

Cartoon By UserWatch Cartoonist Kakatoo

Is Capitalism Creating Systems of More Mental Instability ?

UserWatch Reports 2nd April 2008

The mental health fallout of global financial systems creating illusory asset strength on money borrowed and speculative debt refinancing, and the more exotic "derivatives" cannot yet be measured...

The encouragement of the financial systems in the world to finance consumerism over years on the back of debt that cannot be paid will unravel the big false political drive to keep the populace "happy" rather than asset- "real"...Uh oh ...Depression is a-coming ....

Sub Prime mortgages were loaned to people who did not have the means to pay back debt especially if the prices rose of food and oil - like they have ... And oil prices rising have shown just how exposed to debt the West and others are ... There's a black hole of no-return on money borrowed ..

In the US, gangs of people are already going to new houses that cannot be sold and raiding them for copper pipe etc because the cost of scrap has risen . So has food massively and that makes the gangs money hungry in poorer areas

The free market (not that we are "socialists" at UserWatch) has now resulted in a number of destabilising factors . Capital has shifted towards India and China with low unit cost production and huge numbers of people in the West who worked in manufacturing have been laid off over years . Same in the US.. The rise and rise of immigration in the UK and US has benefitted employers for sure but not the populace in the main (See BBC Story)

The Lords Select Committee in the UK reported on the impacts of mainly EU immigration and have shown that the lowest paid people in Britain are in a competition they cannot win for work from the expanded intake of EU immigrants.

They cannot win because (UserWatch adds) EU immigrants will often live many to one rented house and create a kind of functional low cost labour camp for their conveniences. Who can blame them ? - That's the free market in operation .

Mental health users though in the UK are now to be targeted for work by Govt if they are on Incapacity Benefit (IB) no matter what severity and how long term .

Anyone see the contradictions ? They are glaring . The Govt hopes magical vacancies will appear for the mental health users booted off by tough assessors what is after all a disability benefit . The EU immigrants out-competing the indigenous UK low paid are often working in labour intensive trades such as building and agricultural work as well as demanding care homes. Not many of them have disabilities do they ?

Perhaps some young people on IB will fit that type of work if they also adopt a multi-occupancy strategy like EU immigrants do ...? Yeah sure - we doubt they will get away with it ...

What we can also see happening in mental health is "bullshit britain" tactics to create false entry level jobs inside the mental health parts of the NHS ...The advantages is from the Govt's point is it can interrupt the benefit claim cycles and may lead to lower benefits given .. The disadvantage is it creates a false cycle of "user-involvement" which claims "work and treatment" are the same instead of them being related but not to be over- embedded together in a cost-diversionary way

In other words the NHS mental health system is to become another type of employment centre whose function is to keep people off benefits and create a culture of dubious value where the state has massive cross organisational boundaryless bureaucratic control and will no doubt feed those ex-Users well who "butter it up the arse" ..

Its not prejudice by us at UserWatch its what we are already seeing in motion and its not authentically assisted wider "social inclusion" its actually parasitic selective inclusion for political ends that also suits the insecurities and career power circles of the NHS Trusts...

BBC Report