1. This is the reality of the toll that mental health activism takes on campaigners. Campaigns often have to be done at the last minute, where issues are only discovered after the publication of an evaluation, shortly before a deadline to public responses, or to stop a roll out >
2. What people don’t see under all the protest is the toll the protest takes. Bethan’s presence on Twitter is a strong, formidable force - an intimidating wealth of knowledge that busts a hole in the shitshows that pass for involvement. People don’t see the the toll that >
3. level of head over the parapet takes. In addition to the mental gymnastics of reading and interpreting complex shit, breaking it down to its basics and then reapplying principles to it to working out the gaps and building up a robust counter argument, there is the emotional >
4. toll of analysing data that pains you to read. Remember the #LivedExperiencePractitioners Research Study I did with @melanieanneball and Fiona Stirling? We spent hours on the analysis. Personally I spent hours on the deep dive stuff, working out themes. I couldn’t bear what >
5. I was reading at the time, it was too close to me. Seeing the sheer volume of experiences I experienced, over and over - in detail. It fucking hurt. This is why I’ve not written it so far. Being unfunded and without time for supervision, it was too much. Yet it is something >
6. the world, not just the UK, should know. Back to Bethan’s Tweet. I was shocked that people were having to contend with legal action and having their professional careers wrecked by bringing these issues to light. This is very wrong. It makes sense if issues are libellous, >
7. however free speech should never be curtailed this way. If any campaign is ill-informed or wrong, there should be mechanisms where there can be open debate and conversation so that people can hear both sides and make an informed decision. To litigate against SU activists who >
8. literally operate out of their homes, with nothing to gain financially and often lose resources in terms of time, money and energy. Campaigns are normally routed in deep concern, anxiety, anger and fear over loss of human rights, abuses of power, harm and loss of life. >
9. People willing to face litigation, lose careers and lose their health are brave, fierce and strong, but also incredibly vulnerable. They need to be protected, and people who are behind decisions that cause this level of harm need to step back and ask themselves why they are >
10. doing what they do. I honestly don’t think anyone starts working in Mental Health with the aim of causing harm, or abusing service users. People want to do good. Having others calling out interventions they do as hurting service users hurts them to hear. They get defensive >
11. But harming mad activists is never the way to go. Litigation? Harming someone’s health and career? I thought it was really disgraceful and then I remembered I’ve been going through the same thing over the last two years. I’m risking my career and litigation, my health is f* >
12. I’m scared. I bet every single person, under the warrior bravado of the Battle of SIM is scared. The mortal wound of no career? Failed litigation? Financial ruin? Health ruin? It scares me. I’m in bed most of the time now. As I’ve unearthed more examples of discrimination, >
13. I’ve roared louder, to bring attention to that. Poked my head over the parapet, rode on my horse into the fray, swung my sword about. But each roar, sword swing, head exposure - is an invitation to a mortal wound to my career. Roaring lions are admired behind cages & sheep >
14. roam free in the field. When Stop SIM campaign finishes, and people pat the activists on the back - who of you will employ the bright minds who showed brilliance in leadership skills, intelligence in application of research into real world working & safeguarding service >
15. users? These brilliant people need to eat and pay rent too. They need to feel supported legally, like someone has their back. Will you offer your legal services to them pro bono? The lions don’t want to be in cages of societal poverty, let them roam free. Treat them well. >
16. Bethan’s tweet has hit me like a ton of bricks because I’ve read it from my bed. My f* bed, which has been pretty much my home for the last 4m. I think I’m finally on the path to have changed things locally (nationally is easier, bizarrely), but at what f* price? I’ve had >
17. seizures, lost my driving license, more additional health problems than I can be arsed to depress myself with in a Tweet. Whatever changes I’ve made locally will likely benefit others, because I wouldn’t have to be Sherlock Tamar to take an educated guess that I am the local>
18.Pariah Messiah, the Crazy Chimera who would sooner be sacrificed than appointed anywhere. So, to whoever is... you’re welcome. Please don’t f* up all all the hard work... it will be hard but please make change happen. Be a lion, not a sheep, even if you have to wear sheepskin>
19. On the the job. Back to the Stop SIM protesters... show them a little love. In fact, while you are at it, show a little love locally, because I can confidently tell you that somewhere, whether it’s someone or a small group - are really struggling and could do with your help >
20. One of the biggest ways you can help is by being kind, supportive. Elevate their careers to match their skills. Support legal & Heath battles. De-pariah your lions. They are not freaks in a circus cage. Love your lions. They are Kings and Queens in sun soaked territories 🦁❤️
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29 Apr
1. The stress that ‘co-production’ takes when power is unequal is highly distressing for the party with lesser power in the partnership, particularly over long periods of time where the power imbalance is sustained and there is no action to remedy this. When power is abused by >
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> without the jerk itself, and no micro loss of consciousness. I usually feel it in my forearms or legs, but sometimes in my lower back. I described it to the nurse who runs the #epilepsy clinic, she hadn’t heard of it before. I think she is wondering if it it not epileptic, >
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Since I’ve been doing these, I get messages from ppl ‘off the record’ who either need to reach out for support or who reach out to provide support. I’ve found the hardest thing is being treated with such different levels of respect in different contexts. Does anyone else >
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This reminds me of the time I was part of an art exhibition in Schloss Hartheim in Austria. The palace had been used as a gas chamber in by Nazis to murder disabled people & ppl with learning difficulties, so it was now an institute to take care of ppl with learning difficulties>
> The palace was beautiful but such an ugly, evil thing had been done there. The downstairs was a museum that remembered what had been done. Upstairs was the art gallery, where work of disabled artists was shown. There was a custom built, beautiful building next door, where >
> residents lived, and appeared to have a much happier life in comfortable surroundings where they were free to create. The ugliness of the past was remembered though, alongside the progress of the future, a memorial to prevent the same thing happening again. >
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3 Jan
Discrimination is everywhere - sexism, homophobia, racism. I tweet a lot about the discrimination faced by #LivedExperiencePractitioners #LXPs who openly use their lived experience of mental health in their work. Do we need new legislation to protect us all from #discrimination?>
> Ppl who follow me/know me in real life know my health has been decimated over my experience of trying to address mental health discrimination. Did you know there is no legislation against systemic discrimination? Well, that’s what my union told me. It’s also almost impossible >
> to win a personal discrimination case, so they don’t give you access to a lawyer. Even stress claims are hard to win, so you rarely get union help either, including legal representation. I’ve lost my driving license, had seizures, take medicine that has left me with blurred >
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