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It’s good that examples of CEOs taking race discrimination seriously beyond just listening to stories into action is happening. I hope that these skills in tackling inequality will be used in tackling discrimination that #LXPs face too >
> As a mixed race, pan, disabled woman, none of the #NHS staff networks provide the support I need because where I face the most intense discrimination & inequality is openly using insight from a mental health condition in my work. It’s not an area any adequately understand /2 >
> Because they don’t understand how this extra layer of discrimination impacts on their #LXP members, because it’s so invisible, we can’t get the support we so desperately need within them. I notice that my #LXP colleagues who aren’t white, are LGBTQ, physically/neurodiverse /3 >
> disabled aren’t going to these networks for support. Yet I’ve seen #LXP colleagues die early from suicide or conditions linked to inequalities they face. I’ve seen them hospitalised over distress faced at work. In most cases that means they feel suicidal/have attempted this /4>
> I’ve seen at least two colleagues impacted by homelessness whilst doing this work. I’ve been ambulanced out of work with a seizure. Colleagues on dodgy self employed contracts who have provided years of service being discarded when their old therapist gets a job in their team/5
> Hopefully these skills of tackling discrimination beyond listening to stories will reach us too. Most of us are too worn out to take these to complaints, grievances or tribunals. We’re too busy trying to deal with the impact the discrimination has on our mental health /6
> I think we need our own staff network. A network we can get support for these issues. Maybe we can figure out how to teach the BAME/LGBTQ/Disability networks to meet the needs of #LXPs who have the additional layer of these types of discrimination to face. /7 >
> Our non-White, LGBTQ & disabled #LXP colleagues need that support too, so they need to find support at these networks too. It’s not in the power of networks to make the actual changes, which is why decision makers & leaders need to go beyond hearing our stories. /8 >
> Nodding in sympathy or telling us our perception of our experience is difficult for us (note the words ‘our perceptions’) and that we are valued isn’t making our real life, day to day experiences any better. Our jobs are to improve discrimination towards SUs & non-LXP staff /9>
> who have mental health conditions but can’t ‘come out’ or be honest about it with their team members for fear of facing discrimination too. Does a psychiatrist/psychologist really want their team knowing their diagnosis of psychosis or personality disorder? How will their /10
> team take their decisions seriously without pathologising their every decision? They hear how SUs with their dx are discussed in team meetings by frustrated staff. #LXPs start to address that just by by being visible in their post. /11
> What happens when the only openly ‘Mad’ people are treated as less than, had careers blocked, are left out of team extracurricular activities etc? Staff with MH health conditions dig even deeper into that closet. Some internalise it and treat us worse. /12
> Scapegoats are given the shame & problems of a group & then sacrificed (ejected). For people who are trained in discrimination and group dynamics, you know this stuff theoretically. Start seeing how to apply it to what you currently can’t see. Start to really see us. /12
> If you’ve got this far, you may be feeling ‘here she goes again 🙄’. I’m feeling this particularly intensely because at this moment, at almost midday, I’m sat in my bed, which is wringing wet from the night sweat I woke up in. I feel frozen and disgusting, sat in this. /13 >
> I promised myself a bath yesterday. It will likely take most of the day to accomplish that. But it will be the best, most luxurious damn bath ever because those bath coupons been a long time coming 😂 That’s how we fight, we struggle and deny ourselves for the big wins /14 >
> This is why I’m feeling this so intensely this morning. I’ve had to fight beyond story telling, nobody acted on that. I was told it couldn’t be acted on, that action could only happen if I fought through complaints & grievances, to force what even allies feel they have /15>
> no power to change. I have more power as the scapegoat than those in the system, because I can hold a mirror up to inequalities if I’m strong enough to stand up and refuse to collapse under the burden of the group’s collective sh*t. Although I’m a big strong goat 🐐 /16 >
> I’m not invincible and I’m tired. I thought I’d know if I’d changed anything two weeks ago. The extra wait has been like a literal weight to carry, it feels crushing. Tomorrow I’ll know if I have changed anything, and I’ll know if I’ll have any relief. /17
> If I don’t have relief, I’ll have to figure out how to carry on with that weight. I’m determined to carry it to its ultimate destination. I diarise these thoughts in case it crushes me and I don’t make it, so that the journey itself will be known, will help others /18
> who may feel they are alone or have internalised being told they are less than theirs colleagues in value or competence, now believing it to be true. I feel that too, despite all of the campaigning. However you feel, it’s ok, it’s a normal response. /19>
> Lastly I document this in case my body or mind finally refuse to carry on, through increased seizures or a mental health break. It’s my own testimony that it’s not simply epilepsy or being mad. I can’t control how other people perceive that, but it is my truth. /20 *Ends*
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