Friday, 22 July 2011

July's Meeting

Dear Friends,

We had a nice and cozy meeting this week as a consequence of the ever changing weather conditions and the Autumn-like pouring.

Present: David K, Myra, Pia, Martin, Sergio, Brian, Nat.
Apologies from Sarah, Eamer and Sheila.

Here the highlights of the meeting:

-The SPEAK OUT AGAINST PSYCHIATRY was discussed and most of the present confirmed attendance. It was raised the question of why it has been picked the RCP and not the Institute of Psychiatry. Maybe that will be the next one?

-On Saturday the 23rd there will be a banner making session at LARC to prepare for next week demonstration. Anyone that is willing to give an extra hand or has got some suggestions to offer, please come along from 6pm.

-Cooltan Arts to host a film premiere of a documentary on Wed the 20th.
I have participated to event and it had a well attended reception.
Mad Culture portrayed with its originality and brilliance :)

-Cooltan Arts to hold their monthly Largactyl Shuffle Legacy Walk. Meeting at 12pm at the entrance of the Hackney Museum. If you can't find the walkers on the day, call CoolTan on 07985658443
The walk is organised as part of this year's London2012 Open Weekend Supported by the Centre for Better Health.

-Back on the theme of protests, David suggested to make some planning for the agitprop to hold by the ELNHSFT (mental health trust) on occasion of the AGM on 15th Sept. After a little discussion on the acronyms the conversation there has been a very good brainstorm on actions that can be taken in order to stress more and more what SU want and need when being treated. The Trust can be lobbied and participants of next week Speak Out could be invited.

-David discussed the plan for the event on November 18th "Stigma & Racism in mental health". He has invited Ronald Littlewood Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry Department of Anthropology and Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College, London. Co-author of the book  Alien and Alienists.
We should still have plenty of time to plan this event.

-We had a wonderful contribution from Pia, which shared how she finally managed to change her consultant, as she wished, after a very long struggle. Politics go that a consultant is attached to a specific GP and the only chance patients have to choose a different specialist is if they change their GP. Some consultants even have the monopoly of entire surgeries (Pia had to skim five GP surgeries before finding one that is serviced by a different consultant than her former one). How's that possible?

Change of consultant is a recurrent problem that SU face. Very often personality clashes or just the over patronising, controlling and authoritarian attitude of some shrinks, cause unnecessary frustration, hostility and anger in already vulnerable people.
The result is conveniently used by the professionals to prove on paper that the person is unwell and needs assistance because of unsound mind. Rights of opinion of the patients are not respected, neither considered.

Is this a way to treat or cure people or all they aim to, and have fun in doing it, is to trigger more frustration in patients?

Do you? Can you? Could you take it?
I don't! Specially when these people are being paid to see us, spending time uselessly.
Well done Pia!

-We recently had some mails from medical students that wish to interview SU. I suggested we invite them to our August meeting, so if anyone is willing to answer some questions or arrange an appointment get ready for it.

-Brian also raised the issue if professionals should or not be members and participate to our meetings.
Mixed feelings was the result after the conversation.

-Core Arts is exhibiting a SU collection "Forget Who You Are" at The V&A Museum of Childhood, in Bethnal Green.

The works explore how experiences from childhood can have a lasting influence on adult creativity and artistic practice. The artists, poets and musicians used imaginary worlds and unusual scales to explore their own childhoods.The exhibition will run untill the 16th October.

-The next meeting of the Survivors History Group will be on Wednesday 27.7.2011 at the Together office, 12 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BE. Since the "Speak Out Against Psychiatry" clashes on the same day and several people want to go to both the SHG  meeting will start at 12pm. At about 2.30 there will be a food break. Those who wish to go to Belgrave Square will have time to eat before they leave. It takes 45min to reach the RCP.
Frank Bangay will conduct people across London. At 3.15pm, the Survivors History Group will re-convene for those who wish to be at that.

Fingers crossed next Wed the 27th will be a nice and sunny day.
Get you placards ready and be prepared for a day to remember.

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