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 ..."

No comments: