Saturday, February 27, 2010

Death By Childhood - Mental Health Records Checks On Parents?


Strangely enough colleagues of UserWatch were talking about Criminal Records Bureau checks and a story was written on News Public about the way that most children that are abused , are indeed abused, or are at risk , within the family, and how the hell do you "CRB check" parents, stepfathers, aunts , friends etc ..?

Well you don't is the simple answer, otherwise expect a revolution . Of ,either angry hissed off parents, or indeed arguably enlightened ones, that want to hold up all their flaws for inspection that makes them think twice and more-so about passing on their own neuroses which conceivably flare up in this and that proceeding generation, into ill fitting mentally busted up and damaged people who later cannot properly care for others .

It was the UK poet Phillip Larkin that said something like : "Your parents fuck you up" and then added something like " And you just add your piece in too " ..

What is for sure is, we do not live in cultures of realistically raw self reflection enough perhaps, but what happens when you are so very damaged and cannot afford the luxury of psychoanalytic navel gazing and you have kids ?

Sadly people damage them often.. There are more exteme examples of this in and around mental health scenario's and we need to constantly learn how we also create other layers of social inadequacy and abandonment of those associated to mental health damages who need humanly rescuing . But do lets discuss reality and stop hiding from its tragic truths.

The case of 7 year old Khyra Ishaq starved to death in Birmingham Handsworth UK while the fridge was full of food is quite terrible but its joined by another now in Dewsbury, that of 2 year old Jasmine Bellfield whose mother is now held on suspicion of tragically murdering her . Lets hope from compassion that some other socially rescuing label might be applied here ..

What comes to light as you brush away the shock and empathic pain in these cases is the need for a continuing role of society in helping people with serious distresses work through their lives into some gain and not go into the obvious path of seriously rolling tragedy . In Khyra's case her mother :

"Angela Gordon, was cleared of murder after prosecutors at Birmingham Crown Court accepted her plea of manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. She also admitted five counts of child cruelty against the other children in her care." (Times Online 26th Feb)

The stepfather of Khyra :

"Junaid Abuhamza, a schizophrenic, had a manslaughter plea accepted earlier in the trial after a report on his mental health. The pair will be sentenced next Friday." (Times Online 26th Feb )

The Social Services in Birmingham robustly defended their position of limited intervention the judge at the High Court however said if they had intervened the child would still be alive .

"The department mounted a vigorous defence of its role in the child’s death, saying that it lacked sufficient powers to intervene, especially once Khyra was removed from school to be “home-educated”. (Times Online 26th Feb )

In the Dewsbury case of 2 year old Jasmine :

"Sonia Bellfield, who grew up in Heckmondwike, has been placed in a secure psychiatric unit following the discovery of little Jasmine's body at their home in Naylor Court, Dewsbury, on Friday. She was found after concerned social workers rang police." (Spenborough Guardian 27th Feb)

The hospital where Sonia Bellfield actually gained some degree of social strength was the Priestley Unit at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

"It was at the unit that she met Martin Bellfield, Jasmine's father. Since then the couple have separated and Mrs Bellfield was bringing up Jasmine on her own." (Spenborough Guardian 27th Feb )

What do cases like this evoke as a protective social response given the climate of CRB checking all people in the UK who work - even voluntarily- with vulnerable groups - especially children ? Do we now need a Mental Health Records Bureau (MHRB) monitoring agency ? The debate might have to be had ..

Does it finally say that being a parent is not sacrosanct from more inspection especially where there are mental health factors crossing events where children's care is concerned ?

Sections of our societies are so ill at ease , half broken and so under-served and distressed that its constantly begging for new social structures based on more skillful care couched both in empathy and a forensic-eye .. Will we ever be up to evolving like that ? Or will we just designs political and social rituals that create illusions of safety and care while core personal realities of damages are largely unhelped or diagnosed off into some medicalised label ? Take a good look at the (Guardian Dec 9th Article ) Aesop study findings over 500 Afro Caribbeans in the UK which showed the label "Onset Psychoses"hid overwhelmingly social and family factors that created their long experienced distresses .

Phillip Larkin ought to have added what we at UserWatch have written on our collective PatientGuard intro to us :

"There is no sanity pill

You finally learn

The System's ill "

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blow Me Its Old Jack Dromey - Oh How Happy Erdington Will Be


Erdington Six Ways feb 26 2010

By Art De Rivers Birmingham North

It looks like the big London Labour guns are staking all on parachuting in ex trade unionist Jack Dromey the husband of Labour's Deputy Leader Harriet Harman for the Erdington Birmingham North general election bid . This will not go down well with locals at all . Some think its typical London Labour arrogance once again . Sion Simon the sitting Labour MP was not popular and one reason for that was local people said he was parachuted in too from London influences. Its worse than that says some locals - its about an almost "Baronial" system - "who rules the peasants" -

According to locals - "its about Labour ignoring the needs for locally developed peple to earn their way into being a local member of parliament."

The Tories have been developing a young local-approach with Robert Alden currently a Tory local Councillor whose parents too are inside politics locally . Robert Alden may not have the political experience of a Jack Dromey but he seems have partly gauged the disaffection there is for Labour both in Erdington and in nearby Kingstanding which is combined within the electoral MP constituency of Erdington.

Jack Dromey may be voted in because the Tories still have not hit upon a winning attractive formula for local people to pin their hopes to . The almost safe seat for Labour though really does need to upset the applecart because otherwise its likely to have another few years of poor development and being a taken for granted pawn to politics as opposed to a driver for its own future. The ex-working class stronghold is also seeing some of its disaffection move towards the BNP . There are serious tensions in Birmingham which partly relate to feelings that : "there's been too much immigration " and, "jobs have gone to European union workers"

The major context of decline in the Birmingham industrial sector underpins a lack of economic opportunity in both suburbs of Erdington and Kingstanding and all political parties are inside that dynamic which is going to be difficult to resolve with so much competition from cheap goods from China and India

The battleground will be on a front where Labour will be trying to get the high ground for more promised job-development , training and apprenticeships and yet the Tories could easily do as well with a strong shot of economic promise directly within the tension of this MP seat , its disaffections , and its local needs.

Its likely the Labour vote will suffer if the BNP take voters away from Labour and the Tories might see a surge but will it be enough to beat Jack Dromey ? The sharp money is on Labour just to win by a much reduced majority .. That will not make most local people happy - not according to those I have spoken to and known for many years.. But this constituency is only going to come out of its long grey future if it has the courage to change and make the parties vie for it more ..

ArtWays Erdington 4 set NBCA Cards x

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mental Health News : Non Epileptic Disorder - A Dissociative Disorder?


The work by the above people on YouTube is really worth watching


Non epileptic Seizures ? This is a condition which can be brought on by traumas of events perhaps or child abuses and other traumatically experienced damages to the identity and Self. Although there is no apparent organic basis for non epileptic seizures, as in epilepsy, they occur nonetheless . So why does the brain cut off consciousness from time to time ?

What appears to be the case from some psychotherapy perspectives is the brain is capable of withstanding and dealing with pains of events and needs-deprived over time - but if the whole organism is assaulted by a powerful experience/s of near death - or feelings that escalate towards terror of that, then dissociation can take place .

For some people this shift of consciousness is so great a collapse of its sustainability occurs . They go "away" from mindedness . Its not a conscious thing - its possibly a survival reflex that is maintained from the original pain/assault on the "Self" .. There may even be gradations of it in life that others show by going blank inside stresses - and non-epileptic seizures is the more overblown and dramatic state of that if stresses in the present reactivate old associated areas of trauma .

In the UK there is a Charity relatively newly registered known as the NEAD Trust which was registered with the Charity Commission in August 2009 - its charitiable objects are to :


Its clearly a subject and issue that will grow perhaps as time goes on and other discover there is a set of terms to help describe their experience .

People who may wish more information about the NEAD trust can obtain it from:

Staffs People Wanted Open Enquiry But Politics Defer to Staff Feelings?


Failure To Monitor and Failures Of Openness

Its amazing that even when 400 (and its likely to be far more) people die earlier than they should have, the Staffordshire Foundation Trust Enquiry was politically steered away from total openess as "Cure The NHS" an active group of patients and carers who lost people wanted .

Ahh but the UK being what it is will weave a subtle gag here and there and no-one will be charged with corporate manslaughter or got rid of in a way that sends a clear signal across the UK that its public owns the services and not the politicians , who are dishonest enough to want to hide their own shortcomings with more recent attempts to frustrate the operation of the Freedom of Information Act over their unfairly claimed expenses .

Read on and then ask yourself a question about staff - and the fear-context they live in but are only just hinting at . The NHS via well rewarded top executives, bullies its way by driving its policies across the public's lives .. Its like a motorway mentality rolling across beds of people .. Its not isolated to Stafford at all . Health Service Journal has carried stories about this culture of bullying through 2008 and 2009 .

Private nature of the Inquiry Page 33


Cure the NHS made forceful representations to me that I should hold the Inquiry in public, even though it was not a ‘public’ inquiry in the sense of being an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005. I received written representations from some members of the public to the same effect. The principal reasons given were that those most affected by what had happened at Stafford Hospital were entitled to be able to see and hear Trust management account for what had happened; they could not be satisfied that there had been a proper and rigorous inquiry unless it was in public; and the public had a right to know what had happened and why. It was also argued that the Inquiry would be better informed if its process was in public, because the publication of evidence as it was given would allow others to comment on it more freely. On the other hand, the Health Select Committee, chaired by the Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP, endorsed the view of the Royal College of Nurses that an inquiry hearing evidence in private would encourage members of staff to give evidence in confidence in order to find out why what happened was not detected by the Trust Board.


In the course of my preliminary consideration of the material available to me, it became clear that there were likely to be many members of hospital staff, both past and present, who would be very reluctant to give evidence to me at a public oral hearing. Some were likely to be afraid of the reaction of colleagues, and others of the reaction of the Trust and its management. While some no doubt wished to avoid the stress of an appearance in the glare of publicity.


That such fears existed was confirmed by various encounters I had with staff. For example there were some clinical and nursing staff who made themselves known to the Inquiry who made it clear that they were prepared to provide information but not at an oral hearing held in public. Indeed, some were only prepared to be interviewed somewhere other than at the Inquiry’s premises. As a result, I and members of my team had to see some witnesses in premises elsewhere, or even in their homes. Whether such fears or reluctance were justified, I am confident that many of the witnesses who have assisted the Inquiry by written or oral evidence would not have done so had the Inquiry been conducted in public.


I also held a series of meetings for staff at the hospital, further described below. Some of these were attended by a very small number. It was clear to me that some of those, in particular nursing staff, were very hesitant to express views which they feared might be considered disloyal to their employer, if those views came to the Trust’s attention. A phrase commonly used was “I cannot believe I am saying this”. Again, such individuals would have been most unlikely to attend a public hearing.

See also this Page 159

"Concerns raised by staff


37. I heard much evidence suggesting that members of staff lived in an atmosphere of fear of adverse repercussions in relation to a variety of events. Part of this fear was promoted by the managerial styles of some senior managers. Former Director of Human Resources, Norma Sadler agreed that an explanation for staff’s reluctance to come forward with concerns was that they were scared."

And the Government do not wish more openness ?

Goodbye Labour ...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NHS Foundation Trust Boards To Be Opened Up?


The news circulating post-Stafford and the premature deaths over 400 people there, is NHS Foundation Trust Boards will have to open up to the UK Public again . Its about time. This was always bureaucracy in charge of democracy in the UK disguised as accountability, and frankly the new Foundation Trust Governor arrangements have been weak .

The other problem is , what about the public that did not sign up as "stakeholder" FT members? The "stakeholder" FT members have "special rights".....

In fact non-stakeholders are still taxpayers and are footing the bill for the flounce and feathers of this and that ritual of new controls by Governors and the stakeholder "membership" that no-one understands or sees really ..

At base this is awkward Clubocracy - maybe you do not think so, so look at this from the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust's website which has a "members login" area ..

"I'm not a member of BSMHFT, how can I get access to the member area?

All you need to do is sign up as a Member of our Trust. Sign up for free today. As soon as you receive your Member welcome pack, you will receive your unique user name and password to access the member area. The Member's area is just one benefit of being a Member of our Trust. Find out more by visiting our How can I get involved? section of the website. "

So when are we going to return in the UK to being service tax payers, of services that know their place is to serve, not to serve the public up to services, in some warped idea of accountability turned into a club and "daftocracy".....That's a UK Birmingham word meaning bloody "stupidity" ...

Health Service Journal 24th Feb Charlotte Chantry writes :

"All foundation trust boards must meet in public, health secretary Andy Burnham has said in a parliamentary statement about today’s report on Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

Mr Burnham said: “I make clear today that all foundation trust board…meetings should be held in public and governors should have access to all papers.” Every foundation trust has a duty to be truly publicly accountable whilst providing high quality care Meeting in private was a “direct contradiction” of the vision set out in legislation leading to the establishment of foundation trusts, he said "


Community Treatment Orders And Human Rights Abuses ?

CTO Human Rights Abuses ?

The Care Quality Commission regarding Community Treatment Orders on mental health UK patients have said at a Board meeting : "Undoubtably people are at risk"

This was in reference to a low amount of Second Opinion Appointed Doctors (SOADs) being employed compared to the ration of CTO's applied for by Mental Health Trusts .

SOADs are supposed to be in place as one of the Deprivation Of Liberty safeguards .

According to Health Service Journal :

"A CQC performance report for quarter three also shows only 19 per cent of patients subject to community treatment orders were referred to a doctor for a second opinion within 28 days of being released from hospital, which is the legal timeframe. "

What is also worrying both local to B'ham and further afield is the lack of robust means for Sectioned Qualifying Patients being able to access Independent Mental Health Advocates (as of April 2009) .

"PCT commissioners will be responsible for ensuring that IMHA services are available for qualifying patients in England from 1 April 2009. IMHA services are a new statutory provision, with specific roles and responsibilities. IMHA services should complement and work with non-statutory mental health advocacy."

Defining who is a "qualifying patient" is buried in the usual "paperwork" but it can be accessed online because we have made that available too ..

"The Mental Health Act 1983 (regulations 2008) calls patients who are eligible for the support of an IMHA “qualifying patients”.

Qualifying patients are those patients who are:

Detained under the MHA (even if they are currently on leave of absence from hospital) apart from those patients detained under sections 4, 5(2), 5(4), 135 or 136;

Conditionally discharged restricted patients;

Subject to Guardianship under the Act; or

On Supervised Community Treatment (SCT).
as well as patients not covered by any of the above but who are:

Being considered for a treatment to which section 57 applies (“a section 57 treatment”);

Under 18 and being considered for electro-convulsive therapy or any other treatment to which section 58A applies (“a section 58A treatment”).

(See MHA, 130C (3))" (from Guidance to Commissioners)

UserWatch believes there is widespread human rights abuses that effectively are disability rights abuses since people are not having their need for support truly underpinned in a way that is timely .

Where are the Mental Health Charities in these issues and the BBC you might ask ? ...

Well you can ask can't you ? One of these days it will become of interest ..

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mental Health : BBC TO Report On ESA Medicals ? See Email Below


Its been a worry in the UK for some time to longer term disabled benefit claimants that with the changes in the UK Incapacity Benefit, into the now rolled out Employment Support Allowance, would come a draconian medical testing regime . The BBC are interested in examples of this now .

"Two former doctors for the private healthcare company Atos, which carries out the medical assessments have expressed concerns that the checks are being done too quickly and that the system is biased towards declaring people fit for work." (BBC Scotland)

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - often known as the gluey-duo in those late 1990 days who believed in a "something for something society" both visited Wisconsin in the US and appeared to admire the US way to get people off welfare and back into work.

There were quite a few soup kitchens too in Wisconsin in the same period .

Factoring in recessionary possibility was not something that happened though. Mirage was all . We all know the UK service economy rode high for a time on exotic financial derivative mirages as did the US to its recent chagrin, while capital and production in their export to China and India remained inside other socially insecure contrary equations. Well those equations were certainly very insecure for the redundant workless West ready to get people "back to work" probably moving boxes of emptiness around ..

So where are UK Employment Support Allowance claimants now ? Often inside the contrary UK system that bleats false prejudice towards the disabled and which stokes up public prejudice (often reported by the UK popular press) in order to justify a harsh benefit regime . One might say its a case of bleating and beating. Bleating about and beating people down for being dependent and vulnerable.

Sadly the UK press always creates something they can "blacken" despite the fact that with armies of fraud busters the Dept of Work and Pensions estimates benefit fraud only at tenth of 1 per cent ...

Those of us in mental health in the UK have seen how tough the system is . It wants to hothouse even serious mental illness into work-regimes. There's nothing wrong with work at all. What is wrong in the UK is the impoverished support systems that make mental health recovery actually more possible .

There's currently no Patient Choice mechanism equivalent like all other medical services in the UK . Its take it or leave it treatment . Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a weak therapy for serious mental illness to benefit from . It certainly will not hold back the galloping self of feelings that want to be heard and helped in parts of the affectively disordered community, or the personality disordered community ...

Into all this now circulates an important email from . (see at the bottom)

Steve Donnison heads the Benefit and Work organisation and spurred a democratic turnaround in the UK by helping a petition raise issues of preserving benefit conditions for the disabled. He has been having liaison with the BBC and people are invited to contact them . The BBC have clearly shown with their BBC Scotland Report

"We also heard concerns that the medicals are declaring seriously ill people as fit enough to go to work." BBC 18th January 2010

NOTE BELOW : From the email sent out by Benefit and Work :

"Can you help BBC TV expose ESA medicals?

23 February 2010

Dear Subscriber,

Benefits and Work has been asked to post the following media request from BBC TV. We’ve had a long talk with the reporter, Liam McDougal, and we do think that they are genuinely setting out to make a programme about the problems with ESA assessments. Liam is also working with a reporter we’ve had positive dealings with in the past.

BBC television to investigate problems with ESA
The BBC's current affairs department is investigating the difficulties people face when trying to claim ESA, for a television documentary. The programme aims to highlight claimants' experiences with the new system and to investigate why people with genuine illnesses and disabilities are being declared fit to work. Do you, for example, believe the results of your Atos assessment are wrong? Or perhaps you do not think they reflect the answers you gave to the doctor at the time.

“If you've had a problem claiming ESA and would like to discuss your experience, then please contact Liam McDougall as soon as possible on 0141 422 7559 or "

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mental Health Unit Main House Triple Suicide Pact


The stress was just too much for the last three residents of the doomed Birmingham UK Main House unit that saw Personality Disordered patient input numbers fall over the last few years because of a different evolving service delivery ethos in the UK . The new ethos is of creating Personality Disorder services UK wide, that create strategies more widely than having a few flagships that have created therapeutic communities which deal with acute versions of Borderline Personality Disorder. The argument nationally is for more help and earlier for all levels of damages in the PD spectrum for those who suffer from fragmented developments with an inner life of extreme feelings and often childhood post trauma .

The replacement services for Main House do not appear to have been fully created because as yet a Birmingham UK consultation (up to Mid March 2010) ordered by the Overview Scrutiny Committee and apparently pressured into a fuller consultation by the BEN PCT has not even been finalised (see here) ... Some few community PD services appear to be in place but from Users we hear they need to be carefully watched to see if they are going to deliver effective help to greater numbers .

The three last residents were so alarmed at the prospect of the end of Main House that they went out drinking and then took overdoses by common agreement .

Alison Dayani Eve Mail Writes :

The trio – two women and a man – were anxious about the future of Main House personality disorder unit, in Hollymoor Way, Northfield, Birmingham, when they fled the premises and went out drinking. They returned later to the unit and made a joint agreement to commit suicide, the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust confirmed. The patients were admitted to A&E and recovered.

But days later, pictures show them tearful and distraught after mental health bosses decided to go ahead with Main House closure plans and cast the trio out into the community.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

NowPublic.Com Admits To Strange Love Affair That Improves Mental Health For All

Unravelling the Fairytale :

By Art De Rivers

It began with sneaking across to Canada and having a word with Mr and offering quite a lot of cash to amalgamate. Get cash-fatter I suppose would be the way to describe it ..

Later Mr Google was invited to the party and then Citizen-journalism had to accept becoming Google eyed as it wrote while in the side of its eyes was the parallel dimension of adverts about fat burning furnaces or something quite terrible like that.

Some poor writers moaned and tempested about all of this, while I, being a magic doorway just found that a transdimensional Purple Bunny walked out of my space or body or something like that ... It was probably because I was on a fast , and Miss Google NowPublic Rollykins was inflating and deflating hypnotically by my textual side as I wrote away passionately burning the calories in my athletic fingers .... I suppose it was a visionary moment .. Yes that's what it was .

Miss NowPublic Rollykins was very funny though because she kept inflating and deflating as though an invisible Google-eyed pervert was using a bycycle pump up her bum .....She needed rescuing .. I could feel something in the wind ... So to speak ..

Everyone was complaining on NowPublic about Miss Rollykins yet a miracle happened ... Purple Bunny fell in love with her and its fitting to tell this story as tomorrow all love is let loose and fantasies rule - don't they ?

I have it on good authority though that Purple Bunny and Miss Rollykins were married and Mr Google attended and they went for a party with that older couple; the Owl and the Pussycat and all the DNA recombinant little owllykits and grandowllykits they at last produced.

Don't forget Feb 14th is there for some magic ... Think of Purple Bunny and Miss Rollykins and the way two cartoon characters fell lastingly in love because and made it possible ..

By : Art & Silvis Rivers ..


De-stigmatising Post Traumatic Vulnerability And Making Strength

Art De Rivers On Mental Health Watch :

Star Winds Create Green Dogs In The HairAlign Centre

The people I come across in the acutely damaged worlds of post trauma have often been trained away from feeling early on in their lives and from being received properly by others.

Humans need intimacy and shelter for their feelings to flourish but the corporate control worlds we have been creating, add all too often to the cultures of family and social denial we have already created to serve the idea that being "tough" and distant is the only way forwards.

"Gaining the upper hand over feelings is the corporo-credo way" . Is it ? No its the way of the war against the self and others , and leads to self alienation finally .

The deficits in the acutely vulnerable is not always understood and in some ways repeatedly abused - at least partly unconsciously by the rest of us because we cannot hear or do not wish to hear - feelings ... Yet the aggrieved must be given real territory otherwise the attempt to marginlise them creates existential bombs.

We are all Palestinians and Indians and other oppressed groups and we are all Nazi's too .. That is our emotional heritage .

The old asylums were full of family contained inner dynamites of unfelt - unheard people. I watched it and lived with it nearly 40 years ago . The laughing "schitzophrenic" lady who cried in pain as she laughed and whose tortured abused soul I have never forgotten . The guy who cut into his own penis because his sexuality was denied and a non sexuality was preferable symbolically ..Who needs a piece of body that points directly to the genetic Self of birth and creation when its surrounded by social and family barbs of denial of authentic identity. The Feeling Self .

I can still see the dead images of friends who committed suicide . Some had been abused by family . Tortured by holding pain in and holding onto the false family "self" of compliance that fnally cracked ..

"Oh joe was mad and killed himself "

No , that not right .

Suicide is sometimes a family murder at one remove all too often with someone bearing unbearable internal contradictions. Thou shalt honour the idea of the loving family image .. We re-create it time and time again to oppress.

Shut up and cut off otherwise go into the wilderness if you speak out . If you shout from there and we hear you - we will bomb you. One way or another .. We will seize your land or kill you in it slowly in order to preserve defensive ideals .

Being human with authentic needs for a hearing often means being marginalised and warred upon .. The social quantum physics of that bearing down into the individual is like an art and science blended to see if its possible to resolve the bound energy .. How do we create a safer stream of light ? How do we create spirit brilliance..?

Care is what I am discussing with others in the UK in practical mental health terms . A caring and opening way to de-stigmatise post trauma and make it into a language of acceptable disability with practical applications like a supportive letter going to a dentist, or hair sylist , or optician for those who actually cannot bear human company because of complex child abuse post trauma and rape ..Bridges need to be made for health .

Vulnerability needs hearing and aiding openly and the challenge is to create that valid territory that long ago was actually stolen from all of us ..The Feeling Child ..

Welcome then to human strength by the open acceptance of weakness and a dialogue with it . It looks tough to be tough but its tougher to accept being strong through weakness and openess to rescue human truths ..

Anyone in the mental health services understand that ?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

BBC Cannabis Report On Facebook Sarah Martin With M.S. Problems

Sarah Martin often goes on Facebook where she backs the moves with others to raise the more positive medicinal side of cannabis . She backed the campaign to support Phil Lockwood a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) sufferer who fell foul of the Moroccan authorities when he tried to leave their country with an amount of cannabis (the actual weight is still subject to some dispute)

There is a vigorous and articulate group around the legalization of cannabis in the UK .

Sarah has multiple sclerosis .. She is talented as a graphic artist and suffers a lot of pain .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Multiple sclerosis patient Sarah Martin believes cannabis is the best way to liberate herself from the daily pain she endures.

She says just half a teaspoon in a hot drink will keep her pain-free and spasm-free for about three hours. She also uses a vaporizer to ingest the drug.

But by obtaining the much sought after relief which enables her to walk a little more easily once her muscles have "freed up", she becomes a criminal.

She chooses not to take any regular - and legal - medication, maintaining it would give her side effects such as high blood pressure, ulcers and even the risk of heart failure and psychosis.

The arguments that cannabis can aid the emergence of psychosis have been put for some years . Cannabis some argue opens up the areas the mind (disinhibits) conscious control on aspects of other parts of the personality and even unresolved psychic pain . Yet its clear that there are variable effects and some people are not affected like others with "cannabis provoked psychosis" .
Professor Glynn Lewis, from the University of Bristol, said studies suggested that people who regularly smoke the drug double the risk of psychosis, although it is still uncommon - perhaps affecting 2 or 3% of users in their whole lifetime.
That Sarah has headed more open argument on the medical uses of cannabis is to be welcomed though and perhaps in time the authorities will create the means for MS sufferers to have some alleviation through this method of pain control without becoming criminalised.

Specialist PD Service Official Consultation Birmingham UK

Main House PD Specialist In  Birmingham UK Going Going Gone ?
Art De Rivers On UserWatch UK


Well of course it was on the cards for a long time, but the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust has dragged its feet for a quite a time on altering services to fit more people in the community who suffer in the personality disorder spectrum (PD)..

Self harmers have self harmed and many have felt suicidal and often been alone or with ragged self help services in Birmingham UK and people have languished in the community with very little hands-on therapeutic help . We know that at UserWatch - we have heard it for years, and every year ..

Virtually all the resources for PD and Borderline PD locally were pushed into Main House ("specialism") and its outreach component Bridger House for those with "Tier 4" (a severity measure ) levels of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) .

Over a few years Main House has dealt with less than 15 people per annum.. This is in a population of over 1 million people in Birmingham UK ..

The question from those with other so called "Tiers of severity" (2 and 3) is , it appears to be a self fulfilling service prophesy that people will get so bad and BECOME Tier 4 if they are not seen and helped far sooner ..Or they will die ..

BPD and PD have the highest suicide rates of all mental health suicides recorded in the UK (77 %) . Sadly that speaks for itself since UK services have often left people to themselves and offered just a bit of primary care drugging or "social inclusion" - or this and that, tinkering dressed up as "care" ...

Its often been a slow long death watch by some CPN's or Care-Co-ordinators.

What possessed BSMHFT Board delaying for so long a new Birmingham wide PD community orientated service as opposed to keeping a failed business model that had made money (because at one time it did) since the new push to help more people in the community with levels of Personality Disorder has had at least Dept of Health momentum for years since 2004 when a keynote document was produced ..

"Personality Disorder No Longer A Diagnosis For Exclusion "

That report surfaces again we see but its been a languishing part of the UK version of NIMHE's spread of dubious interest groups dressed up as patient reps .

It was a totally obvious report to write and showed up the previous know-it-all mechanical staff insight biased DOH patient anti-stance and critically showed nothing new but simple human sense :

I.E : If you don't hear damaged people in the community and allow them some ways to navigate pain, memories and feelings of child abuse, and relationship difficulties that evolve from poor or spoiled developments - you make them socially excluded and very unwell. The system of UK mental "health" actually therefore we have seen time and time again actively creates SOCIAL UNWELLNESS ...

BSMHFT has been hanging onto Main House because it did attract revenue- years ago - but slowly it has dwindled its capacity to attract bed purchases from other parts of the UK through other UK commissioning Primary Care Trusts (PCT's) . Those PCT's are looking to their own local needs and the push for local models of care instead of propping up a "specialist service" ...

One might say rather obviously - that if these other UK wide PCT's do push for more local models of PD help then perhaps the "Tier 4" population of PD suffering will slowly diminish - perhaps it will not, as more people come forwards for help as money is released into new opportunities for at least some kind of treatments , therapy and care local to people's needs ..We will all see .

There are some very good staff in personality disorder services who are eclectic of approach and will not necessarily be rigidly enforcing Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) type therapies on patients in the community who in any case have complex needs and not simple depressions for which CBT has been primarily recommended . [Dialectical Behavioural Therapy tends to be the preferred therapy of choice for many PD patients if they can get it ]

Yet perhaps the biggest lesson about PD comes from another but related quarter regarding better human and locally-inclusive therapy responses and it shows up the way services actually falsely construct themselves "into speciality " around other labels like "psychotic" regarding what has been seen to be seriously distressed and developmentally damaged mental health Users.

The Study of 500 (reported by the Guardian on Dec 9th ) Afro Carribbeans done by South London and Maudsley MH Hospital breaks open the mystification and uselessness of the term "Psychoses" . It is redundant, the study showed no disease process , or gene process but a massive correlation of socially distressed life events which it is arguable the health system just drugged out of the way into more personal and internal social isolation . Do you get the point ?

We have a socially unreal mental health system in the UK ..

Do the services and their personnel get the point yet .. ? After all they did the study and are more than silent about its "diagnostic-tool" shattering implications of the term "psychosis"...

Something else is needed ... Severely socially damaged human identity ?

People are made into damaged selves by socially and family constructed distress over the long term . Frankly having a (Tier 4 ) service like Main House re-inforces that too . People need intervention via better serious psycho-social-therapy in the community and we need to unravel people at that level there, and resolve issues there .

Think on, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust Board because you are presiding over descriptors of people's damaged lives in ways that are seriously pseudo scientific .

You see , read the study about the 500 Afro Caribbeans . No "psychoses" exists . There's no basis for it as medical label at all . Its a false shibboleth . False science . Its a mystification of hyper distress caused through family separations and social distresses and because it is, its arguably "mis-diagnosis" .... And that my white brothers and sisters on the BSMHFT Board is legal territory ..

But that study begs looking at other descriptors (not diagnosis tools) of human damage and have a guess what ?

Those 500 Afro Caribbeans studied fit into the PD spectrum of human damage that for so long has been treated as "un-treatable" .. Yeah ... The services have helped perpetuate bad health and bad descriptions but most of all its killing people at a distance - either existentially or literally ..

Murder by mystification ? Suicide that is profoundly disguising not being seen , unless through a pseudo science and services that medicalises or invalidates many humans in the UK ....

UPDATE 12th Jan Birmingham Evening Mail

A BIRMINGHAM mental health hospital is to be closed down as part of a cost-cutting exercise, leaving psychiatric patients without vital residential care.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust is closing Main House intensive treatment unit in Northfield because there isn’t enough NHS funding to keep it running.

Psychiatrists condemned the imminent closure of the personality disorder service, saying the move was “unacceptable”.

S.O.S. - Save Our Services In Birmingham UK - The Petition


White On Red - The passion of petitions

The petition to save Main House "Tier 4" Borderline Personality Disorder services in Birmingham UK has started . So where might it lead ?

Its unlikely to save the service which has dealt with only 12 - 15 patients per year for a few years now .

This does not mean to say all is lost - far from it . Its more likely that after the shock of any service changes, a new more inclusive service will evolve and more people will be helped before they even evolve to Tier 4 BPD (severity of effect) which frankly some are driven to .

The supporters of Main House services are passionate and caring - truly genuine people, and their voice should be heard in these times too , their view should come into the mix and hopefully form a better future and a more treatment-inclusive one, for all PD sufferers in Birmingham UK .

The Patient-Jury is out on this one though . Developments await .

There is a model of care that is inclusively dealing with 200 PD spectrum Users From "Tier's" 1, 2, 3, 4. per year currently . It is in Oxford and is known as the complex needs service.

From Nursing Times Jan 15th (subscription only)

"Tier 3 - intensive treatment

People attend a five day per week therapeutic community called Oxford TC (for more on therapeutic communities see Pearce and Haigh, 2008). This is also an 18 month programme and can be an alternative to tier 2, but people are free to move between the intensive therapy tiers as appropriate. The same range of therapy models is used in large groups, and work and activity groups. For both tiers 2 and 3 there is a 24 hour year round telephone support network operated by members (clients who have entered a group).

Tier 4 - support after treatment

When clients have been in therapy for 15 months in tier 2 or 3, they are expected to engage with tier 4. This consists of a rolling 16 week fortnightly programme on “life beyond therapy” to help them move on. Connections are made with external education and employment agencies and people also
have the opportunity to become part of a social network. The service continues to hold clinical responsibility for each person for six months after completing therapy and an exit interview is offered to all members and a summary is provided on the experience and process of therapy "


The Main House petition below :

The Petition

Main House is one of only 2 residential therapeutic communities for people with complex personality disorders in the country. It is a national centre where people stay for 12 months and through democratic psychotherapeutic methods are taught how to survive.

People with personality disorders often struggle with everyday life and use negative coping mechanisms such as self-harm, drugs, alcohol, eating problems and frequent suicide attempts. Medication often leaves the person unable to connect with the real world.

Through Main House many of us have learnt new coping mechanisms and have managed to move from recurring hospital admissions to a normal life with steady relationships and jobs.

There is a proposal to close Main House because the funds have been mismanaged and since changing the funding system in 2008 funding has been a problem. The service is extremely valuable and before the funding was changed was lucrative and successful.

We believe that it is possible to run Main House and that it is an essential service required to save lives. At the moment there is a 2 month extension on a consultation but we want to do more. We want a strong show of support for the project and to show the people who sit in the decision making seats that they cannot close our centre like they closed the Henderson project.

Please sign up and help us to show people that Main House is vital and we do not want it to close.

Many thanks.

The UK Cassells Severe PD Unit Is Saved - Mirage or Oasis ?

A Personality Disorder Oasis In The UK

After a south UK based consultation in 2009 discussing the future of Personality Disorder (PD) services which involved 62 Primary Care Trusts the Cassells Hospital in Richmond Surrey will still be viable. "The Cassells" as it is often referred to has often dealt with childhood severe (post trauma affective) Personality Disorders in "Tier 4" level.

Some very pained people and families will breathe a sigh of relief about that . Additionally it has been decided some four outreach teams will be working in 4 regions of the southern UK . That is a new development for 2010 .

As a national specialist service the Cassel has a proven track record of assessing and treating adults, young people and families with intractable personality and family problems. The ESPD Service (Emerging & Severe Personality Disorders) and the Families Services both provide unique flexible care packages with residential, day and outreach services.

Wandsworth NHS Board Trust papers (27th January 2010) show that :


Further information on the procurement process, bed numbers and location of the services is not yet available, but will be reported to the Board when it is agreed. In the meantime PCTs are expected to continue to commission Tier 4 services from their current provider, which, in this PCT’s case is the Cassell Hospital.. "

The broader picture of change has been set within a context in which the Cassells and closely related world famous Henderson Hospitals were part of a nationally commissioned service supported by UK Primary Care Trust purchasing-in services. PD Users of services though have formed along with Govt, a 2003 paper, which it appears is having reshaping consequences several years after it was published :

"Personality Disorder No Longer A Diagnosis Of Exclusion "

The "Independent" newspapers to recap, put some of the dynamics of the story succinctly in 2007 :

The planned closure of Britain's leading national hospital for people with complex personality disorders was condemned as "inhumane" yesterday by mental health workers.

For 60 years, the Henderson Hospital in Sutton, Surrey, has provided a unique form of residential care to people with severe psychological difficulties who are among the most difficult cases known to medicine.

Its patients are mostly young women who, after traumatic childhoods often involving horrific sexual abuse, have become bent on self-destruction through prolonged bouts of self-harming, cutting and burning themselves.

The independent also pointed out the very high costs per person to keep them in a ward like situation and some current thinking leans toward earlier intervention (arguably cheaper and more timely ) in the community, so that people do not reach the level of severity of effect that is often termed "Tier 4" ..

People are not born "Tier" 4 - its a set of descriptors that reflects a individuals social evolution and often lack of supportive therapy help for years. That has all too often been in an NHS context of poor therapy supply for PD types . Exclusion from service-help thus has been the case .. Patient Choice and a matched budget following the patient for that should surely have been the way forward for many people . However the current mind set of Govt and vested interests is to make the private sector supplies almost off limits . But a 100 k per patient and supporting overheads too is that still the way forward for all PD types .. ?

The hospital is to close because the South-West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust says it cannot afford to keep it open. Two other therapeutic residential centres, the Cassell Hospital in Richmond, Surrey, and Main House in Birmingham, are also under threat because they are no longer funded as a national service. Instead, they rely on primary care trusts to pay the costs of treatment, which can run to 100,000 a year per patient.

The Wandworth NHS Board papers Of 27th Jan 2010

Do not give the locations of the regions where outreach services will be stationed they state only :

"The review was led by the South East Coast Specialised Commissioning Group on behalf of the 62 PCTs in the south of England. A Joint Committee of these PCTs met in November 2009 to consider the feedback from the public consultation, including the 54 PCTs who responded.

The consensus decision of the joint committee was that the new future service model which will be developed will have 1 residential unit and 4 regional outreach teams based in each of the 4 regions. "

It appears in the UK we will have to wait to see what happens with the 4 regions getting new PD "community inclusive" services, but keeping the specialist hospital to deal with children and young people in severe distress is no mirage and that may be their only supportive oasis ..

Location and contact details

Cassel Hospital
1 Ham Common,
TW10 7JF
020 8483 2900
020 8483 2996

This hospital is also known as Cassel Hospital

Further Interesting Reading :

BMJ Letters On Severe PD

Tabi - A Fairy A Day Keeps Abandonment Away

Tabi Cockerton Who Made Fairies To  Survive Her Disorder

By Art De Rivers

Tabi Cockerton is someone I have met online recently. I have also contacted Phil Lockwood in the UK who does some mental health advocacy who helps her.

It could be said that Tabi's magical thinking has kept her alive. In the absence of help for her Dissociative Identity Disorder and her abandoment by the NHS services in the UK, she made a fairy a day .

A fairy a day to keep abandonment away ... So goes her personal tragic rhyme
And yet she has succeeded in highlighting important difficulties in the UK for the therapeutic treatment of people within the spectrum of difficulties known as "Personality Disorders" Her magical thinking made the fairies go out online and seek others .
"I thought what can I do to stop my mind from giving way?"
And others came to her from the forgotten shadows

That's when she decided to make fairies, one for each day she hadn't received the help she felt she needed and deserved.

She now has hundreds, but some light has come from the dark that has engulfed her life.

She said: "I thought there must be so many people hurting out there hidden behind closed doors that nobody knows about.

"So I sent fairies to people who were hidden away - as a way of connecting us all. It was a certain way of surviving."

The story of Tabi - also known as Jane was first written up by Peter Truman on the 19th March 2008 . Its a good piece of hearted journalism . Stories though move on, and Tabi is still without help .

Dissociation cannot be helped towards self-integration by other than slow re-association of what is keeping the deep reflexive defense of dissociation in place ..

It is a brave person who wants to go down that route to heal .

Healing is very painful as the split up self encounters its own reasons for shattering . Traumas of child abuse and injury are often at base the arena for why the Self internally speaking guillotines its own limbs and separates them off whilst keeping them distantly animated ..

Empathic reflection for healing by a good therapist takes years - for they are the mirror of the broken Self which struggles both to be itself and not be itself and they offer slow validated reconstruction . Relational witnessing solidifies the Self and becomes internalised .

To re-inhabit the almost un-inhabitable takes care and an empathy that was never given . Good therapists do not alter tragic history but give it witness and its ocean of restorative grief back . And the pain is then processed into a self that integrates slowly .

How can a child heal unless they are reflected and heard in how they feel ? How can anyone ?

Tabi's struggle is the struggle of many in the UK . Her local NHS Trust once helped her, then ended her service without giving her reason she claims . What becomes apparent in the UK as we go deeper into examination of PD spectrum disorders is the genuine lack of long term empathic therapies for the emotionally damaged .

The NHS UK has gone Cognitive Behaviour Therapy one-dimensioned. Its a small dimension of a narrow application range now being questionably elasticated to fit all sorts of people and ranges of problems . Its critics are many and are growing .

Meanwhile Tabi and the fairies create a life in the whirl of the UK's poor therapy supply logics .

Her Trust was linked to the world famous Henderson that dealt with post trauma and its future seems uncertain .

The Henderson Hospital in Sutton was closed temporarily in April 2008 for many reasons, including a reduction in funded referrals which meant that the residential service was no longer clinically viable. All staff have been temporarily redeployed in other posts within the Trust and have been kept fully informed about the consultation process.
Tabi though had to use NHS Trust money to go to York where a special retreat helped her . The money it appears ran out .
62 Primary Care Trusts (Commissioning bodies who create service redesign for large populations that then pay Trusts to supply those services ) are now engaged in a process of consultation for the shape of new PD services . The consultation is all across London , the South East of England , the East and more besides .

Public consultation:

A public consultation is going to be held, which is looking into the provision of Tier 4 residential services. This is being led by West Kent PCT on behalf of the 62 PCTs within the East of England, London, South Central and the South East Coast. It is due to start in April 2009 and the report on the outcome is expected in Autumn 2009.

Between 20 April and 27 July 2009 members of the public, service users and staff can share their views online at, download information or sign up to attend an informal discussion. People can also request information by telephoning 01732 375200, ext 5401.

This is happening now in 2009 . The Dept of Health document published in 2003 - 4

And its taking years to create different services for PD spectrum sufferers properly to help their lives of pain .

In Birmingham UK although there remains a PD and BPD specialised service (Main House) it took in only recently 13 people ...Of its 24 beds were 11 empty ..
24 beds .......Hold that as a figure ..

The UK (2008) population estimate is 10 -13 percent of Personality Disorders . People highly damaged by backgrounds without supplies of empathic therapies. In Sheffield out of a population of 533,000 there are 16000 personality disordered people . Not all severe but enough will be to create self destructive patterns of life ..
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Personality disorders (PDs) are common conditions, although there is a considerable variation in severity, and in the degree of distress and dysfunction caused. The Department does not hold the requested information centrally, but research studies currently indicate a prevalence of 10 to 13 per cent.
The way the UK manages Personality Disorders is not through remedial therapies across its spectrum but by pushing it into the community without resources and invariably through the criminal justice system .
The incidence in the sentenced prison population is around 64 per cent. for men and 50 per cent. for women. Estimates of the prevalence of personality disorders in psychiatric hospital populations vary between 36 to 67 per cent.
There are a some few people begining to react to this partly invisible social holocaust and the there may be a possibility of an independent UK survey to map provision and experiences across the UK from a PD and BPD perspective .. That will be reported on here should it happen .

Tabi though stays at home mainly - keeps away from a world which is a nightmare of poor provisions . Human treatment has almost disappeared

Only the fairies and few friends care now ..