This morning I met with my local MP Jessica Morden. Jessica represents Labour and is the parliamentary representative for the Newport East constituency. Over the past few years that I have known Jessica we have had two face-to-face meetings scheduled that have unfortunately not materialised due to me being sectioned on both occasions by mental health authorities. It was to be third time lucky and it was with great pleasure that, without any unwanted intrusions, I attended Jessica’s surgery at Caldicot library today.
In Wales, health is a devolved matter and most of the issues I have with Mental Health Authorities fall into the remit of Jessica’s Welsh Assembly cohort, John Griffiths AM. I had a productive meeting with John Griffiths AM a couple of months ago and we are still following up with work based on what was discussed at that meeting, with Welsh Minister for Health Vaughan Gething currently attending to my plight. Parliament, however, does house the Mental Health Act, the legislation that governs Mental Health care in this country and I felt that a meeting with Jessica Morden MP would be of paramount importance in order for me to successfully challenge the provisions of this Act. After being contained within the mental health system for approximately 20 years I am especially keen to find a permanent solution to escape this legislation as a persecuted individual and also to build a better future system for the healthcare users of tomorrow.
Jessica welcomed my partner, Nicola and I, with warm smiles and an invite to take a seat in her office. Jessica was accompanied by an assistant who was very helpful throughout the meet. Jessica was pleased that I had previously met with John Griffiths and from the outset of our meeting Jessica was graced with an air of positivity and a desire to help me change the system for the better. I explained the circumstances of my most recent hospitalisation, when pure ‘thought crime’ was invented and acted upon and how I was shepherded off to detention and tortured for several months before the Mental Health Review Tribunal Courts overturned the psychiatrists and, finding in my favour, secured my release. Only 5% of patient appeals ever result in success and despite the long wait for justice,I felt that it had been served and that I was a lucky man. I made it clear that after that judgement I had sought to avoid psychiatric services completely, failing to engage with social services or medics. For the past six months I have been successfully living outside of the mental health system and have been re-attending university, getting on with life. I explained to Jessica that I aimed to continue this progress outside the auspices of Mental Health.
Jessica wanted to know about the progress of my complaints. I explained that Perry Attwell of Aneurin Bevan university Health Board Trust, acting on behalf of Chief executive, Judith Paget, was still dealing with two ongoing complaints and also that I was awaiting a response from the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales. I explained the detail of my latest complaint within the system relating to my drinks ban at the Castle Inn, Caldicot – the psychiatrist and police had informed the landlord of the Castle Inn, Steve Gribble, that he wasn’t to serve me alcohol as it interfered with the prescribed mental health medications. Jessica felt that this was rather bizarre and that the mental health authorities were over-extending their powers unnecessarily in the community. It is an ongoing matter where I aim to use the Equality Act in court against the pub landlord and once the complaints have been resolved I aim to bring the matter before the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) who could fine the health authority £500 000 for illegally disclosing confidential private medical details.
I have a lifetime award of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) for my mental health conditions. Due to government changes to the benefits system I am currently in the process of having to reapply and migrate over to PIP (Personal Independence Payment). This whole shift has been a controversial government policy and many difficulties have been created for the often marginalised disabled community across the country. Jessica was glad that I have been getting support from Monmouthshire Mind and she offered to appoint some government PIP advisors to assist my case, something that I was especially grateful for.
Jessica pointed out that only last week, Prime Minister Theresa May had made some further, controversial alterations to how difficult mental health sufferers would find the application for PIP. I explained that I was aware of this and dismayed that the news had so successfully been oppressed by the mainstream media. I did, however, explain how I had been impressed by some of the changes that Mrs May had made to the mental health system. At End Of Terror, we started tweeting Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary and it was during this period that she started to divorce the cosy relationship the police had been having with mental health services. Theresa May has now dramatically reduced police involvement in mental health care and police cells are no longer to be used as ‘Places of Safety’ under the Mental Health Act. I welcomed this change and feel it improves the system no end. I had been a victim of some of the most horrific human rights abuses by Gwent Police over the course of my extended life as a mental patient.
We were discussing charities in mental health and I said that I was often frustrated by the activities of MIND, who I felt actually were quite powerless in the quest to genuinely support mental patients. I want there to be wholesale changes to the Mental Health Act, in particular for Treatment Against Consent to be abolished. Jessica wondered if there were any charities that were set up that could support my anti-psychiatry stance. I said that the closest i had found so far was the CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights). I praised their stance on anti-psychiatry and also the volumes of material that this charity releases online to combat Big Pharma and the slavery-like Mental Health industry.
In university I have been studying the Francophone Caribbean. We have covered slavery and colonialism, from the French perspective, of the controversial slave trade that persisted in the French Atlantic Triangle. Slaves were moved wholesale across the ‘Middle Passage’ from Africa to the French Antilles where they were bound to masters and forced to work plantations, providing the capitalist goods and profits for their European overlords. Coffee, Sugar, Indigo and Cotton flooded the economy back home in France and vast profits were made by this now recognised as criminal enterprise. It was the epitome of the Capitalist system. I explained how the whole French slave system was legalised and regulated by the introduction of the French King of the ‘Code Noir’. These laws were controversial and in today’s light can be seen as very brutal as they set out the policies for punishing the property that were slaves, by cutting hamstrings and whipping for misdemeanours. I equated the UK Mental Health Act of today with the ‘Code Noir’. It is a modern day Code Noir, legislating a modern form of slavery, again driven by capitalism and producing vast profits. The Mental Health Act is inhumane and in today’s age of modern enlightenment, should be abolished.
I explained how I wanted Jessica to somehow put me in touch with government think tanks and health policymakers so that I could continue to lobby for real change in Mental Health. I feel that the voice of individuals, who suffer the system, is suppressed. The decision makers who determine law are simply unaware of the real experiences of those on the front line, fighting the battle. Jessica was intrigued to learn of exactly what happened tome during my most recent stay in hospital. I went into detail to explain just exactly how degrading depot injections against consent can be and the indeterminable suffering that they produce, turning the patient into a zombie who is unable to read anything, to concentrate, to move about or to focus on basic life. These depot injections are about the most powerful weapon in the psychiatrists’ arsenal and they overuse them, disabling and rendering useless a vast swathe of the mental health population.
Jessica concluded the meeting by saying how she would be following up on what we discussed and, with her aide, she arranged to visit the House of Commons library to conduct some follow-up research. I have produced a document for Jessica Morden and John Griffiths, outlining the key areas where I wish to see change.
Jessica said that she could see that I was in very good health and kindly wished me all the best with my continued studies at Cardiff University.
My whole case is an ongoing matter. After 20 years in the system, I struggle to make sense of the war but feel that today’s meeting with Jessica can certainly be marked as being positive, encouraging and hopefully will produce long term results that satisfy the End Of Terror campaign against mental health abuses. The people of Newport East are lucky to have such fine political representatives as Jessica and John. They both earn their votes and devote considerable time to improving all of our lives locally. If ever you have an issue, please do not hesitate in contacting them and you will be surprised just exactly how helpful they can both be. I look forward to continuing to lobby for improvements in Mental Health and look forward to fighting the whole overall war with renewed vigour.