I met with my new friends (former patients) from Speak Out Against Psychiatry. If anyone knows what needs to be done in terms of reforms it is these friends of mine who have been of great support. They have first-hand knowledge of what the care is like on the wards and should be listened to.
Anyway we met at some’s flat to look at interesting DVDs about the fabulous care on offer in Tornio, Finland. Over there people are successfully being reduced and coming off the drugs because they are being listened to and what is more I think it is absolutely brilliant what is going on in Finland. You have only got to look at the example of care I have documented to see what is wrong with everything. The dvds contained interviews with all the professionals involved, including the psychiatrist who was brilliant and reminded me of the private Orthomolecular psychiatrist I had appointed. Currently in the UK everything is done secretly, families are not included properly and there is such a big thing about confidentiality. Teams have many meetings where there is discussion behind closed doors. In Finland it is the complete opposite – there are many members of the team present at the same time and everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions, given the chance to speak and listen and discuss the way forward. Not only the patient but the families are listened to and this is where everything is going wrong with current care. They have a very high success rate and this is because patients are treated in a humane manner.
The group discussed a wish to see this care up and running in the UK and I think that peer support is extremely important having witnessed my daughter respond to a resident more than staff who were trying to push her to do things. It is friendship and being listened to that counts for patients and I have listened to my daughter time and time again complaining of terrible side effects on these drugs. If she has to remain on them then it is better to be on the minimal and the team in Finland offer a lot of support – unlike the current Crisis Team – hospital admissions are not needed – this kind of care avoids distressing admissions – it is not just distressing to the patient but also to their families.
After watching the dvds the group got together and carried out some examples of role play and how the group could support some people in the community who are isolated and visit them in their homes. When people become isolated, they become desperate and it is very sad that some end up time and time again on these wards when this can all be avoided.
Even some of the major drugs companies are interested in what is going on in Finland and I believe that things are moving forward for much needed change and reform and hope it will not be long before this is in place in the UK.
I have been copying people in to some interesting developments I have just heard about which I will mention soon. There are lots of mothers in despair like myself and I am introducing them as it is important to share information.
I have written to Dr Walsh and Dr Walsh has responded about the assessment and I have copied Mr Hunt in as well and hope this can be carried out very soon.
The evening last night ended with us all going out for an Indian meal. Everyone in the group has positive ideas in the way forward and in my opinion Mr Hunt needs come and meet and discuss the way forward and the introduction of proper assessments and Open Dialogue as in Finland.