Gwent Police and Senior Mental Health Managers Meeting

gwent police hq

 

On 26/07/17 I wrote to Gwent Police and senior Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Trust Mental Health Nursing Manager, Perry Attwell.

 

Hi Perry and Gwent Police,

I have been wanting to write to you, with regard to the current status of my detainment under section of the mental health act at my home address.

I have been subjected to the mental health act since 2nd April 1997. I have never been violent towards the police nor mental health workers during the 20 years in which I have been treated. At present, I feel that there is an over-reaction to me when I am processed for sectioning under the mental health act. There are up to 50 police officers in my street during a sectioning and the whole process is very daunting both for myself and also the officers. I am transferred in the back of the police van like a common prisoner and feel that this aggravated my early stay in hospital. As I am never aggressive, I am asking you that, for any potential future assessments, we have a low key approach whereby, if necessary the police can attend in a single car and transfer me in the back of a car, humanely, and so that my mental health in the community is preserved for any potential hospital assessment. I feel that as things stand, with such a hullabaloo raised, it doesn’t assist me nor my local community in the whole process. These most recent hospitalizations have cost me my career at university and I am really struggling to rebuild my life. I am never going to be violent or troublesome and do not wish to be portrayed in a bad light in my neighborhood with a vast police presence and a seemingly violent capture ahead of any mental hospital admittances. Also, Perry Attwell has mentioned to me himself that he would be arranging for me to be transferred directly to Talygarn and not being sent to the processing unit at St Cadoc’s. I ask for a response to this letter as I wish to improve the oft fractured relations I have with this whole service as part of my processing under the Mental Health Act. Theresa May says that she wishes to improve Human Rights for mental patients and here I believe that, at grass roots, I am helping to do just that.

Regards

Wesley Gerrard

 

After a very long delay and much avoidance by the requested parties to attend this meeting, I finally managed to sit down and meet with mental health managers and police in an attempt to diffuse the whole of my mental health situation / saga. Here is a report I have prepared  about this meeting:

 

After waiting impatiently for this meeting since I first tried to arrange it last July, I finally managed to get the chance to sit down with some of the local police and senior mental health management on Thursday, 26th October 2017 at Caldicot Library. I had wanted to begin a dialogue so as to analyze exactly what was happening in both the police and mental health services during the far too often sectioning process that they have been using on me for a number of years. It seems that not twelve months can go by without me being aggressively taken out of my home or off the street and removed to Talygarn and St Cadoc’s for lengthy stays. Every time I come before an appeals court these days I win my case so it is becoming ever more annoying that the police and mental health community teams plus psychiatrists in the hospital are persisting in performing these sections. It is so disruptive to me and has continued for over 20 years and I do not intend for it to go on any longer. I am trying to nip the whole saga in the bud and this meeting, whilst I am free and comfortable at home, I felt would be a good way of starting a constructive dialogue to help end the process. Senior manager Perry Atwell, has been taking an active role during my care in recent years and he, for one, is hoping to end the repeat process of me being taken into hospital as he on the whole feels it unnecessary. Unfortunately Perry has now retired from his senior management role and Anne James has taken his place. I have known Anne for most of the 20 years for which I have been a patient.

Anne James was present at the meeting. Also, my social worker / care co-ordinator, Elen Mcelroy. Plus psychologist John Baird (about to retire). Representing Gwent police there were two WPCs. I didn’t manage to record their names although I was aware of one as she has previously processed me during a detainment. The one WPC was senior mental health representative for the whole of Gwent. The other WPC was specifically the mental health liaison officer for my local area.

The whole atmosphere was pretty hostile from the start. I explained some of my grievances. The police denied tasering me etc. They denied assaulting me in the cells. Everyone was pretty much of the steadfast opinion that there has been no wrongdoing on behalf of the powers that be and that all that had been done was necessary. Anne James admitted that in the twenty years I have NEVER once been a danger to myself or others. I have though been sectioned and get regularly aggressively sectioned on no fewer than fifty occasions. The whole criteria of being sectioned means that you have to present as a danger to yourself or others. Yet, here on record, they have admitted that this has never been the case. The police corroborated that I have never been violent to them in any way nor have I any form of criminal record.

The police stated that they have no interest in fighting crime in the local area any more. They said that nowadays their policing was to be targeted towards the policing of vulnerable people.

They said that the main reason of me being violently sectioned by them was that in their view, when they turn up to my property they feel that I am intimidating in character towards them. I explained that I was not trying to intimidate them but that based on the history of what they have been doing to me for years that I am genuinely in fear for my life when they turn up. I cannot go past a police officer or car in the street without experiencing a panic attack through fear of them. It is more them who are intimidating me and the facts and evidence will verify this.

They said that when a magistrate passes an order they are just doing their jobs. I asked as to why they were using this system which is open to corruption. I do not get processed fairly under the mental health act as it is supposed to be.

They said that the social workers involved – mainly Linda Price – have a way of perceiving that I might be perceiving something that might make me mentally ill and they apply to judges for these orders.

In other words I am being detained and sectioned and locked away based on pure speculation of Orwellian ‘thought crime’.

It is illegal, unjust and wrong and must be stopped somehow. It is no way for me to live in constant fear from these hideous people.

I have never experienced the symptoms of any of the diagnosed mental illnesses they accuse me of. I have never sought treatment from them. I never take their medications willingly. It is all done against my will and consent and by using violent force. It has simply gone on for too long.

They have said that the whole process will not be stopped, will not go away and will simply intensify in the years ahead. They want to have more access to me in the community and to lock me away more regularly.

To be honest, the whole meeting was a shambles, very much what I expect from a broken dilapidated system that has perpetually abused me for years on end.

There must be some form of political / legal solution to this.

I am hoping that someone will be able to assist me in getting a better result from this attempt to diffuse the situation and also to look at the wider picture of how this system and its actors might be detrimentally affecting the lives of other victims.

At the very least I demand a full investigation into local mental health services and practices. If they have no evidence for their persecution of me then it should surely be stopped once and for all. They will end up killing me one way or another if they are allowed to proceed and we are not some third world country with no legal process or 21st century morals. We are supposed to be a democracy where freedom is almost guaranteed.

‘I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in its hand.’

End Of Terror Meeting with Politician, Welsh Assembly Member, John Griffiths AM

John Griffiths AM and Wesley Gerrard

Today, after four years of campaigning, I finally met with Welsh Assembly Member, John Griffiths AM. John is my local political representative in the Welsh Assembly. In Wales, health is a devolved matter and is dealt with in the Cardiff National Assembly, rather than in parliament. Since the launch of End Of Terror five years ago, both John Griffiths and his parliamentary cohort, Jessica Morden MP, have attentively supported our needs. There has been an extensive correspondence via email and I am regularly in touch via telephone with both their offices. On no fewer than two previous occasions our scheduled public meetings have been cancelled due to me being sectioned. It is thus much overdue that I finally met in public with John, in order to thrash out the End Of Terror campaign and to seek a much-needed political solution to the issues that the #EoT movement raises. We met at 2pm on Friday, 6th January 2017, at Aroma Coffee Shop in Caldicot Town Centre.

John is well up to speed on all End Of Terror developments and in addition to our current filings with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, John has kindly petitioned the Welsh Minister for Health, on our behalf. In a previous post you can see some of EoT’s political agenda and the issues that we campaign for politically. – See –

REPORT ON MENTAL HEALTH IN SOUTHEAST WALES FOR JOHN GRIFFITHS AM AND JESSICA MORDEN MP

http://endofterror.org/?p=850

John listened attentively to my campaigning for well over an hour and explained to me in detail on how best to pursue my cause. He identified that in order to successfully petition the government that End Of Terror need to network more and grow its supporter base in order to achieve more political clout. He mentioned that organisations such as MIND are successful in getting the government’s attention as they speak on behalf of a multitude of campaigners. I think that at End Of Terror we shall certainly use John’s advice and try to expand our reach and involve more people. to date it has sort of been an individual’s campaign by me and I am but a lone wolf, crying in the darkness.

We spoke about the concerns I have about the local system being far too decadent and out of control. There is a definite need for psychiatrists and their employees to be reigned in. I really want there to be a system of balances and checks in place so that omnipotent psychiatrist power can be curtailed. We spoke about the need to divorce police power from mental health services and also for a fairer court system to be put in place. I want a twenty-first century mental health service and an abolishment of Victorian Bedlamist attitudes towards mental health sufferers.

There was a recognition that Big Pharma is out of control and that there is an overdependence on clinical solutions when perhaps more should be done with improving talking therapies. John mentioned the statistics that one in three people now suffer from a mental health issue. I am especially keen to erode the power of Big Pharma, the multibillion dollar fraud that drives this hideous inhumane industry.

Ideally, there will be more power for mental health advocates who at present are in a position of limbo, despite the Labour government’s introduction of them as an entity some decade or so ago.

I suggested that the Welsh government consult mental health solicitors more as these are a body of people who are intelligent and have their finger on the pulse in being able to truly assess the reality of mental health services in a holistic manner.

John said that he would try and open the doors for me with regard to consulting the mental health committees in government and we talked of the need to also meet Jessica Morden MP in future in order to make changes in Parliament itself.

I was keen to encourage John and other local politicians to visit their local hospitals, just to see for themselves how threadbare services here actually are. We must end the inhumane conditions for mental patients, wherever they are. I stressed how there must be an end to treating mental patients like animals and to rid the subhuman attitudes that divide the gulf between staff and patients.

John is keen to erode the public stigma attached to mental health sufferers and he feels that there is movement towards mental health achieving parity with physical health services across Wales. John recognises that often in the past mental health has been a ‘Cinderella service’ that has been overlooked.

John was pleased that I am currently outside of the mental health system and that I am getting on with my degree. We agreed to stay in close contact and I am certain that as my political representative, despite mental health being such a difficult area politically, that John will assist our EoT endeavours long into the future.

It was a true pleasure to have the time of such an important person in the local community and I felt pleased that my voice had been heard and I truly believe that real change can now be achieved in the field of mental health in southeast Wales and the wider world. Thank you for your time, Mr Griffiths. All the best for the future from the End Of Terror movement. Let’s all fight together for change and improvement in mental health services…

 

Report on Mental Health in Southeast Wales for John Griffiths AM and Jessica Morden MP

 

bedlam

I have been a non-consenting patient of southeast Wales’ mental health services since 2nd April 1997. I have almost amassed twenty years of living within this closed mental health system. I write this report with a view to enacting real change for the better for myself and other end users of the mental health services in our area.

 

Ideally I would like to see the Mental Health Act scrapped in parliament. I feel that it is antiquated and rooted in Victorian Bedlamism.

Psychiatry is not a science. At best it is a pseudoscience. There is little actual medical evidence for most, nearly all mental illnesses. Mental illness, unlike normal illness, cannot be scientifically assessed. If an illness cannot be scientifically diagnosed, how can it be an illness? The blood, body, mind of a schizophrenic is exactly the same as a healthy person. There are no biometric markers that indicate a sickness in someone’s mind. The point is that mental illness is not pathological. Cancer has its markers, as does AIDS. As these illnesses can be scientifically studied and examined, they can also be scientifically treated and hopefully cured. What hope is there for a cure for mental illness if the illness itself cannot be determined scientifically? This point exposes the myth that mental illness is untreatable and cannot be cured. It cannot be cured as it does not exist in the first place. I was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1997. Schizophrenia is apparently an incurable disease. This is not true as it does not exist and I have never suffered the symptoms psychiatrists identify in schizophrenia. For 19 years I have been confident that I have been misdiagnosed and yet I still experience treatment and simply cannot evade the system.

 

Big Pharma is the driving force behind the mental health industry. For every identified illness there is often expensive treatment available from big global pharmaceutical firms. Drugs companies rarely see their share prices topple and mental health is a very profitable sector. With all this big business and money flying around I often worry about exactly how precise and effective these treatments are. There must be a more ethical means of turning a profit for Big Pharma than mental health drugs, drugs that are often used against the consent of patients.

 

Treatment against consent is my biggest bugbear in psychiatry. In every branch of medicine the patient has a choice bar psychiatry. If someone falls ill they may choose to consult a healthcare professional or doctor. The doctor can then diagnose illness and offer treatment with a view to curing the illness. At any stage the patient is within his or her rights to refuse the doctor’s advice and to consult elsewhere or simply ignore the treatment. Often illness is an individual matter and if the treatment doesn’t feel right to a patient then why should that patient continue the course of treatment. How many of our medicine cabinets are full of half-used prescriptions of painkillers and antibiotics or the like? In mental health as treatment against consent is condoned and used, patients’ rights are eroded. We move out of a realm of doctors and patients and into a realm of torture and torturer. Treatment against consent is torture plain and simple. It was used in the days of Bedlam, in the Victorian Institutions and has been a cornerstone of the short history of psychiatry and mental hospitals. Yes, some more barbaric, outlandish practices (with no scientific basis) such as lobotomy have been ceased, but treatment against consent continues to this day and with our modern technology and advancements in science chemical lobotomies occur on a daily basis through the use of some of psychiatry’s arsenal. We are talking drugs such as Clozaril, depot injections, Risperidone, Olanzapine.

It is often argued that psychiatrists are dealing with the most disturbed of patients. People always use Peter Sutcliffe in Broadmoor as an extreme example and say how this abhorrent man who has committed abhorrent crimes needs to be treated against his consent. Unfortunately, the vast majority of service users aren’t Peter Sutcliffe, yet they get tarred with the same brush and treatment against consent affects this majority of patients far worse than they do Sutcliffe and other extreme cases. Even in the case of abhorrent psychiatric criminals, these people are human beings with human rights. The choice of treatment and the right to consent to treatment is an absolutely fundamental human right and is part of what separates us as an intelligent species from the animal world. Treatment against consent fosters a concentration camp mentality. It is Nazism, plain and simple, extreme far right use of force to disrupt nature. It is man against the environment in its most absolute ultimate form. Man mistreating other man using torture and chemicals. So much of psychiatry is rooted in eugenics and this is a distant historical archaic fixation that needs to be properly eradicated in order for human society to function properly,

 

To set this treatment against consent in its context I give you my 19 year case as an extreme example. I have never accepted my diagnosis, nor felt mentally ill. I therefore reject treatment. When under section of the Mental Health Act you lose your right to consent. From Day 1 on my healthcare plan I have been forcibly injected against my consent, with drugs unknown to me and only through experience and research have I discovered what these drugs do. When you refuse tablets in a mental health environment they will turn to injections to guarantee that you take the treatment. They are allowed to use force and in my case have done that or always used the veiled threat of force to get me to take down my trousers so they can inject my thigh or backside. By law, mental health professionals can freely assault, restrain and drug with hardcore, mind and body –altering chemicals with no repercussions. If this happened in a war environment – let’s say Aleppo, there would be international outcry and it would be seen as a war crime, yet it occurs on a daily basis inside British mental hospitals, and worse, with new CTO legislation, also in our communities. Depot injections that I am allergic to have caused me to have a severe hiatus hernia. This makes me projectile vomit all my meals and every morning I start the day puking. It was brought on by depot injections against my consent and the NHS is powerless to stop psychiatrists doing this to me and so my hiatus hernia cannot be treated and cured so I have to live with a permanent disability caused by treatment against consent.

 

What if treatment against consent was outlawed? It would force the mental health services to adapt greatly. For a start, less emphasis would be on Big Pharma and the medications it produces. We would move away from clinical psychiatry and into the realm of more natural, talking therapies. I’m not saying people should all be freed from mental hospitals, just that the emphasis on drugs would be less. People could choose to be unmedicated and if deemed ill, remain inpatients, but unmedicated ones by choice. When a lay person thinks of a psychiatrist they think that these people sit down and chat with you for hours about your problems and your childhood etc. This is a common misperception. Psychiatrists tend to be just clinical and rely on prescribing drugs. It is psychologists, who aren’t necessarily medically trained, who perform the talking therapies one associates with US Sitcoms and films etc. Psychologists won’t offer you medications. They aren’t doctors so lack prescribing power. They will recommend ways and means of dealing with your problems and often over a period of time will assist you in coping with your problems by identifying root causes and disruptive patterns of behavior. Psychology is a buzz subject academically these days with university departments full, yet try seeing a psychologist on the NHS. You will always find a psychiatrist. They are funded by Big Pharma. I have been on the waiting list to see a psychologist for over ten years. I am deeply embedded in the mental health system with regular hospitalizations yet cannot get to see a psychologist. Aneurin Bevan UHB simply employ too few psychologists and those they do are fully overworked and do not have time for their clientele. The local NHS invest in psychiatry and virtually ignore talking therapies yet it is in these areas where psychiatry and its relevant research are most accurately close to being a proper genuine science. We are supposed to be moving away from clinical mental health environments and towards ‘care in the community’. It is imperative that talking therapies get adequate financial coverage and are accorded a valued place within the therapeutic setup, especially in our local area.

 

Another great area for improvement locally is another variety of talking therapy in use in mental hospitals, that of occupational therapy. The occupational therapy has as its aim the goal of readying an inpatient for reintegration into the community and outside world. They will work on basic skills, life skills, things one would normally do on the outside and from within a hospital environment an occupational therapist shall aim to get you back to full healthy working order, enough so you can function independently in the real world. Two years ago I met with Judith Paget, Chief Executive, Aneurin Bevan UHB, and in this meeting I emphasized how I disliked the cutbacks that were being made within her system on occupational therapy. To me, as a longstanding mental inpatient, I found the most value in the hospital to be in occupational therapy. Occupational therapy made me feel normal. Whether it be a day trip to the beach, cooking a lunchtime meal for fellow patients, doing a morning crossword or just simple arts and crafts, occupational therapy is vital in an inpatient environment and indeed in out patient aftercare. Yet, consistently over the past twenty years the OT budget has been cut, staff have been laid off and services and end users suffer as a result. On at least three occasions over the past 3 years there has been absolutely zero occupational therapy at all in Talygarn. When you combine the fact that you can’t see a psychologist or engage in other meaningful talking therapies, it seems that the local system is over-reliant on psychiatry and Big Pharma meds. It’s how to pass your time in the hospital system. One aims to be as active as possible and all It seems you can physically do as a patient is sit and smoke cigarettes. It’s no wonder that drug use is becoming ever more prevalent inside mental hospitals as people are genuinely bored and need to occupy their time in some way. Judith Paget incidentally promised to get me in a consultation meeting with the heads of OT for the Trust and to suitably increase funding in their direction. Instead she brushed me aside, ignored her promise and cut back more funds and saved more money by binning OT which she obviously deemed a non-essential luxury.

 

In general, human rights for mental patients need to be improved. I worry about the scrapping of the human rights Act and how it will affect mental patients. There are a few safeguards I’ve noticed in use in the tribunal courts which do protect certain interests of patients. In general, there is a massive stigma attached to mental illness and perhaps the worst part of being diagnosed and treated is how the community and society change to treating you as an individual. It is a difficult period for patients and their families and friends. This is made worse by the massive stigma and misunderstandings associated with mental health. I think that it all begins with the vast divide between staff and patients within hospital systems. Too many fundamental freedoms and rights are taken away from inpatients. If one is being treated like a subhuman one will feel like a subhuman. Mental hospitals become, not healthcare environments,but punishment centres. They are prisons for the disaffected. Most patients I have spoken to who have experience of both the prison service and mental hospitals actually prefer prisons as they have more freedom there and it is more like normal life inside. They can have jobs and tvs and do what they wish during association hours. Mental hospitals, and you must try visiting Talygarn and St Cadoc’s to see this, are dark and dismal places often threadbare with so little to do for patients. Facilities are dilapidated, often broken and rarely repaired. If mental health is to be treated on a parity with physical health then surely the environment of the hospital can be improved. Rights are taken away. Mobile phones are confiscated, or mobile phone chargers. Cigarette lighters are confiscated. You can’t drink caffeinated coffee. Takeaways are banned. Are these rules fit for patients or fit for prisoners?

 

As the last twenty years have gone by I have noticed how freedom within the community, within the hospital itself, has slowly been tightened up. Twenty years ago, patients would wake in St Cadoc’s, have a cooked breakfast, do the crossword together in OT, and disappear to Caerleon town to trawl around the pubs all day. You could freely walk around the beautiful countryside grounds and vistors could come and go as pleased. Nowadays, you are more likely to walk onto the ward after some leave, forced to submit to a full body search and have a breathalyzer to test you for any signs of alcohol. Your visitors have to stay outside the entire ward and can only come at certain times. You cannot simply walk out into the grounds for a bit of fresh air. These hospitals are now heavily policed by the staff that have become warders as opposed to nurses. As smoking bans enter the fray, staff can no longer socially smoke with patients and talk about their problems. It adds to further separation between staff and patient and ultimately when the smoking ban is enforced life for an involuntary smoking patient will be a nightmare as they will be forced to quit on the spot and that is unhealthy. If the aim is to get patients into the community they need to be able to have trust built in that community from as early a stage as possible. Mental Health systems should be about lifting barriers, not erecting them. There is enough stigma in the real world without stigma inside the hospital system.

 

There is a major problem in justice for mental patients. The current tribunal system is very unfair and far too heavily weighted in favor of psychiatrists. For a start one of the three board members of a Tribunal is a psychiatrist. There is an unhealthy backlog of delay in the Tribunal system meaning that you often have to wait several months under treatment (against consent) in hospital following your appeal being lodged prior to the Tribunal sitting. Solicitors are hard pressed and often very impotent in terms of what actual assistance they can give you. The hospitals are full of people living in hope about their appeals yet on average only about 5% of appeals are ever successful for patients. I feel that similar to the criminal justice system, prior to being locked away you should get your chance in front of a court for them to decide if the psychiatrist is right in saying you need to be detained under section. It is only reasonable for this to happen.
Police have become a lot more involved in mental health – Cells are being used to hold patients prior to them being transported to hospital. Often patients’ first contact with services is via the police, police transportation being used instead of ambulances and handcuffs and, worse still, tasers are routinely used on mental patients. The last thing you expect as you enter a healthcare environment is to be shot in the chest by a police marksman. I have been the victim of a taser attack in my own home and it severely traumatised me. Again, are we treating health or is this just a form of social control for disciplining the marginalized and disaffected.

Police have no role in healthcare. When you need to use the police as a patient they will ignore you and they routinely ignore some of the worst crimes perpetuated by staff in mental hospitals. The training of the police re mental health needs to be completely overhauled and they need to distance themselves as a system as a whole from the mental health sector if we are ever to achieve parity between mental and physical healthcare.

 

Training needs to be revamped and brought into the twenty-first century. Antiquated ideologies need to be erased. I find that most mental health workers appear to have a glazed sense of brainwash about them. They are conditioned into distancing themselves from the mentally ill, into building barriers. They are oversold the pharmaceutical benefits of the drugs and are misled, like doctors, by drug company marketing material, false claims and the vast profits that multi-billion dollar industry generates.

 

Lastly, does it really need to be said that the system should not be employing criminals. Often psychiatry and the industry attracts some dark people in its workforce. There are far to many with brutal prison-warder type mentalities who get their kicks out of oppressing others. And psychiatrists are not always the sanest and most reasonable people. I was appalled to learn that my psychiatrist of two years had a history of child sex offences. Dr Darryl Watts was employed by Aneurin Bean UHB after spending 30 hours a week surfing child pornography on the internet whilst working as a psychiatrist in Bristol. He was convicted, struck off and the later employed to work in a position of responsibility. He is unfit to judge the sanity of others in my opinion and this is a clear scandal.

 

For more see http://endofterror.org

 

 

 

End Of Terror Under Attack – Repression Inside Talygarn

iphone 6

The authorities – local mental health workers and Gwent Police – are not happy with End Of Terror exposing their misdeeds. When I first started the website there was an immediate clampdown and I was ushered off into the Mental Health system. I later understood why my then Doctor, Dr Darryl Watts, was unhappy about being published on the internet as he had been convicted of child sex offences. It is convenient for the authorities to mask their repression and cover up End Of Terror. I think it important though, to expose this hidden system to the world and I certainly, over the years, have taken much refuge in the fact that End of Terror exists. It is a crutch of support to me.

2015 was a horrific year for me. I was taken into the hospital on no fewer than four occasions. It took me out of my undergraduate university studies at Cardiff University and set my life back again. After nineteen years in the mental health system it came as no real shock and i am used to dealing with the State disrupting my life. It is an asset to be resilient and to forge on with life plans in spite of the constant mental health harassment and its infringement upon my liberty.

During the last hospitalisation I was detained from July 2015 through to November. I was sat at home, minding my own business, doing work on the internet for my music business and out of the blue Dr Basu turned up with the police and a magistrate-signed warrant to remove me for assessment. I had done nothing whatsoever and was just carted off and incarcerated. Basu proceeded to give me the maximum dose of CloPixol Depot injection, something to which it has been proved I am allergic to. I had two stints on the secure PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) Beechwood, St. Cadoc’s, Caerleon, for dissent on Talygarn Ward, Griffithstown County Hospital, Pontypool, where I was detained for the bulk of my stay.

My notoriety as a patient precedes me on Talygarn and on the ward I have some formidable enemies, usually within the nurse management structure. People who are constantly vying for their own selfish climb up the ladder whose disdain for patients is most cruel. I name Keith Sullivan, deputy ward manager, Jayne Hughes, former ward manager and Paul Hanna, Deputy Nurse Manager, to be among the most appalling of these ladder-climbing despots. They spend their days in a twisted Machiavellian power struggle, never hesitating to have a pop at patients using any means at their disposal to make their victims’ stays in hospital less comfortable. They are the antithesis of good nursing and miss the fundamental point that they are there to serve the patients’ needs. These are the prison warders whose radical oppression of patients and their rights truly epitomise the struggle within mental hospitals – the very examples of why there is such a divide between staff and patients.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Yayz5o-l0

One of the scariest movements within mental health hospitals is the inevitable ban they seek to impose on smoking. Anti-smoking lobbies have successfully campaigned across the board of the NHS for smoking to be restricted. Due to the enforced nature of sectioning, where patients are detained against their consent, smoking is still, on the whole, allowed inside mental hospitals. Smoking is one of the few things you can actually do to while away your time and most mental patients are heavy smokers. It upset me to see during my stay on Talygarn, that the inside smoking room had been closed and patients had been relegated to the garden area. It is one step closer to the achieved goal of a complete ban. Lighters were confiscated and the nurses had to be called to light your cigarette. This is one undignified way of removing patient’s human rights, but not the major subject of this article. I dread to think what it will be like in the future to be detained and forced to quit smoking instantly. There will be uproar within the services and most patients will struggle to come to terms with the ban.

Since the advent of mobile phones, patients have found new ways of staying in touch with the outside world during their incarceration. Although some parts of the system do deny access to mobiles eg.PICU, most acute wards allow patients to use their phones, although they often confiscate them at night and refuse patients the use of their chargers. This leads to a clandestine smuggling operation for patients whereby contraband chargers exchange hands on the ward so that everyone can top up their battery. Nurses spend their days lighting cigarettes and searching bedrooms for hidden mobile phone chargers – hardly constructive medical care?

Smart phones with internet are especially useful and to maintain social media accounts and have internet access is a godsend, especially to me. I have been able to update my EndOfTerror from within the confines of the establishment and being able to reach out to followers gives a certain empowerment. Being locked away from society is lonely and frustrating and although not freedom, internet access allows a certain maintenance of your outside life. Messages of encouragement from friends and family are invaluable to your disrupted mindset and as a patient the therapeutic value of support on the outside is immeasurable.

Resisting as ever, during my stay, I was actively tweeting on the @endofterror timeline. It’s rather difficult to do full blog posts from a mobile phone and tweeting is a handy alternative, even if the tweets just serve as a personal reminder of incidents once one gets back to the outside world. I regularly study social media activity of mental patients during detainment through online mental patient friends and although often disturbing in content I know that I am not alone in seeking solace through social media use during a section. Each individual has their own methods of reaching out.

The Indian Dr Basu and his underling, the Iranian Dr Al-Hasani, were being particularly virulent in their disdainful treatment of me. They simply failed to recognise me as a human being with human rights and used the treatment against consent to the maximum. They frustrated me by denying me any leave at all and I was forced to resort to criticising their actions on twitter. They were both monitoring my twitter use and the End Of Terror website and threatened me saying that I was not allowed to post anything about them or their names. This infringes upon my freedom of speech and expression and I simply refuse to bow down to fascism and change my policies of exposing the fault-lines of the mental health system. Prior to hospitalisation Dr Basu had been stalking me online and although he denies this, I caught him, through analytic software, studying my Linkedin and invading my personal space on the web. This adds to my conspiracy theory of how the actions of psychiatrists are preordained and not rooted in healthcare. My enemies will pursue me despite me having good health. The voice of dissent will be punished by the system and EndOFTerror is a nightmare scenario for my pursuers.

I started using the smartphone camera to take some visual images of the hospital surroundings. Most people fortunately never get to view the bare oppressive inside walls of a psychiatric hospital so it helps in exposing the realities inside. One night in the smoking area, where we were jovially listening to some music, I took a photo of some fellow patients, with, of course, their permission. I posted this photo on my personal networks (not end of terror). The psychiatric nurses and doctors who were glued to my social networks, looking for an excuse to pounce, did just this. They cited privacy rules and said that I had broken confidentiality rules and mobile phone policies and they confiscated my Iphone. I was up in arms. I said I would delete the offending photo but could not see what harm I had done. In the real world I am always updating my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with all my escapades. Why should this be any different during a stay in hospital?

After many complaints the nurses came to a compromise and returned the mobile phone but they decided to do this with a twist and use an experimental policy. This experiment was horrendous to me and signified the extreme measures of state repression that little Hitlers within mental health services are prepared to use. I was allowed ten minutes of access to my mobile phone per shift and this access was to be supervised by a nurse. They wanted the inner workings of End Of Terror and were prepared to intimidate me into revealing my personal use of the internet. Nurses were quite uncomfortable with doing this and many expressed this to me. However, there are nurses who just relish the sort of power this experiment brings and jump at the chance of subverting patients’ rights. I found that my internet use was to be closely scrutinised and used in ways to justify my mental illness. Everything I did online found its way into my notes and was judged as mental illness. It’s just a total invasion of privacy and when you hear about internet repression in far off places such as China, to see this obsessive monitoring occurring in the UK just proved to me the State’s obsessiveness with surveillance.

Pretty soon, the ban on my phone use became compounded. I am a translation student at Cardiff University and use social media and the internet to maintain contact with a host of international friends and business associates across the world. The nurses started to complain as they could not understand my social media messages when I spoke in a foreign language. Therefore I was banned from speaking foreign languages and banned from internet contact with anyone outside of the UK. It is bad enough being prevented from studying your Translation degree, being forced to mss key lectures and examinations while you are subjected to the human experimentation of mental health. These authorities were now dictating to me that use of foreign language was a mental illness. I was being treated for my education skills and prevented in every way possible of exercising my study mindset. I found this to be ignorant, racist and typical of a stupid mentality. Why should my ways be changed to suit my captors?

Is it mentally ill and evil to contact people in the outside world and to use foreign languages? I was disappointed with the recent Brexit vote that demonstrated a democratic dislike for the EU and its foreign characteristics yet inside the mental hospital I witnessed some of the sickness of the system and how ignorant people could be. Right wing tendencies and oppression are key to the success of the mental health movement and where people have the right to exercise their power, I feel they often abuse this power, typical of the little Hitlers that so plague our fragmented society. Be it a police officer with a trigger-happy taser or a racist nurse, these people love mental health systems and what their roles in society entail. I feel sick that people can actively monitor my personal correspondence – most of the time it being innocuous contact with friends and family. I was forced to submit and to be honest dreaded my ten minute sessions on the phone. In a locked ward surrounded by cameras monitoring your every move, with your body given up to non-consensual mind-altering drugs, not being able to set foot on the grass or go to the pub for a pint, or even walk to the local shop, I felt that the monitoring of me could not possibly extend any further. Why does psychiatry have to be so intrusive? Do they really need to know every last detail of a patient? If they ever did anything useful with the information then I might be able to understand the medical necessity of information-gathering. However, the information is always misused and leads ultimately to further oppression.

Eventually, the whole charade cracked. While the nurses were running around lighting cigarettes, hunting down mobile phone chargers and peering over my shoulder at my Facebook messages, they obviously neglected their key role and jobs – that of nursing. An unmonitored patient slipped away to his room and hung himself with his dressing gown belt. Priorities should be given to prevent suicides and it is a nurse’s role to stop this happening. Suicides are sad affairs for all witnesses. I’d been close to the dead patient, sorting him out some tobacco and keeping his spirits high as he came to terms with his own incarceration yet he had gone ahead and done what he intended. All I did during my ten minutes of mobile phone usage that day, was to post an RIP message on my Facebook to my personal friends. It asks you how you feel on Facebook when you post a status. I was feeling sad about the suicide and posted so. Whenever somebody dies who I know, I tend to do a simple RIP message on Facebook. In the modern world of social media, many do this and I believe it is a key way of us dealing with grief as a society. The nurse who was monitoring me freaked out, tried seizing my phone and although I did post my status, I was reported to senior staff and my phone was permanently confiscated. Senior management were called to endorse this ultimate ban and despite my protests, Nursing manager Perry Attwell confirmed that my social media usage was not to be tolerated and the phone would remain in the possession of the Trust.

I do not know where monitoring and surveillance in society will ultimately lead but remember that the insides of mental hospitals where there is a captive population are very often where the most disturbing ideas in society are first trialled. Oppression begins in mental hospitals and they serve as a mirror to the realities and horrors of the real world.

Living With Schizophrenia – PART 1

Living with Schizophrenia Part 1 from End Of Terror on Vimeo.

This is the first part of my mental health story, explaining how I first came into contact with psychiatry in 1997 and the horrors I experienced during my first mental hospital incarceration. I plan to do a series of videos about mental health.

More http://endofterror.org

This was a video I did a couple of years ago. It was originally posted on my youtube but I had to take it down as it cost me a job. I had gone through the interview process and been appointed by Pharmya ( http://www.pharmya.com/ ), a pharmacovigilance company in the South of France. It would have been an interesting position, combining translation, interpreting, my language skills and also knowledge of medical industry, but the woman boss found this whilst googling and decided that she couldn’t employ me as a result.

Anyway, I like the fact that the video is the truth… You can run and hide from your past or you can live with it. My biggest goal in life is not to make money, or to travel, raise a family, fall in love etc… My primary goal is to sleep at night with a clean conscience. I feel that on the whole I manage to do that.

Since the making of this video my incurable ‘schizophrenia’ has actually been ‘cured’ and I have a new diagnosis that I haven’t even bothered to research bar a brief scan of wikipedia. I’m now apparently suffering from Schizo-Affective disorder which sort of buggers up the future episodes I plan to do for this series…

Enjoy the vid, any comments most welcomed… Hope I don’t lose any more work for putting it out into the ether…