1.There is something so heartening about seeing a Tweet that acknowledges that the issues #LXPs have are real & they do have an impact. Because discrimination usually isn’t acknowledged #LXPs never get to hear the words “I’m Sorry” as a genuine apology as opposed to being in the>
2. context of ‘your perception’ being skewed or ‘your feelings’ being hurt, which is like a backhanded way of being told that the way you are being treated is caused by you & not the people doing it to you. It places fault back with you, rather than being the responsibility >
3. of people accountable within organisations to change discriminatory behaviours. It lets people who lead organisations off the hook if there’s no acknowledgement an issue exists, because then there are no national campaigns to appease, no pesky equalities targets to reach. >
4. The most sinister impact of telling #LXPs that the discrimination they face is their own ‘perception’ is that it has insidious undertones of pathologisation, especially for service users managing psychosis or trauma that includes a different perception of reality as a symptom>
5. The issue of gaslighting #LXPs is a very real and very harmful one. There is also the high risk of colleagues abusing power, whether unconsciously or maliciously. But staff can help #LXPs by listening to & validating their experiences of discrimination in the workplace. >
6. Colleagues can also ensure that they do not stand by and be complicit when these instances of discrimination take place. Back up your #LXP colleague, even if you can’t stop the exclusion or discrimination. Many LXPs are isolated from colleagues in their discipline, so doing >
7. this can be invaluable. I wish that I’d had colleagues within teams I’ve worked in that I could have relied on. This won’t cure the issue, but it may be what helps your colleague survive it at work. The issue of stopping discrimination lies firmly with people leading in these>
8. organisations to ensure that they develop systems & structures alongside #LXP consultants who are experienced and trained in this area, paying them equally & Sharing decision making power with the staff they are working with. There is no excuse to use unpaid service users who>
9. have no experience of #LXP work, the discrimination faced, the specialist types of supervision needed, the structures and systems that need to be in place to support this and the specialist nature of some LXP roles, meaning that training and CPD is a factor to include. >
10. The very use of unpaid service users or #LXPs who are new in post, untrained or inexperienced in this area & are not given shared decision making power is that they will not have the knowledge to ensure that these aspects are in place, or the power to do this. They can more >
11. easily be used to rubber stamp an initiative than an #LXP consultant trained to work in this area, whose job and professional reputation will include ensuring that necessary structures are in place and will ask tough questions when necessary. The result of not doing that is >
12. #LXPs who then have to work under inadequate structures that unpaid service users or early career LXPs have been used to rubber stamp WILL lead to distress, high staff turnover, leave LXPs vulnerable to discrimination. I’ve seen my colleagues hospitalised over this. >
13. I’VE been hospitalised due to the impact of inadequate structures and experiencing discrimination, in my attempts to try to draw attention to and change this. I am very aware that one day, these issues could cost someone their life. That could have been one of my colleagues >
14. It could have been me. So please, please - those of you who have read this far, actively think about how you can support your #LXP colleagues in the work they do. You never know what a difference you may be making or how much that person may need that. >
15. The tweet I shared at the beginning of the thread by @Mianthrope is a great example of the right way to respond. He acknowledged #LXP discrimination was real & that it had a real impact. He apologised. He talked about there being a long way to go and actively working on it >
16. However, it has to be acknowledged that @Mianthrope isn’t responsible for the structures and discrimination, so although the apology is kind, it is not coming from those ultimately responsible for this. The reparation - the future change, is also in their hands >
17. Discrimination towards #LXPs is not something that is unique to ‘bad’ individuals, ‘bad’ organisations or even ‘bad’ areas. It is very much a universal issue, like any other type of discrimination, and needs awareness and active work to address it. >
18. Leaders, we need you to step up and recognise the discrimination your Lived Experience Professionals #LXPs face. We needs you to be aware of the additional risk of gaslighting that comes with being open about a mental health diagnosis >
19. Leaders, we need you to put aside egos. We need you to give up power and start sharing power with #LXPs. That is what co-production is, a sharing of decision making power. That means us designing our own structures for working & support >
20. Leaders, if you really are serious about coproduction with Lived Experience Professionals #LXPs, you will employ us through all levels of hierarchy in your organisation. From your Exec & non-Exec Board members through to apprentice Peer Support Workers. It will happen ✊🏻✊🏽✊🏿
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More from @tamar_whyte

20 Jun
1. The #BPD label & diagnosis: a thread. At this years #BIGSPD21 Ian & @JaneCannonMBE gave a presentation describing the experience of losing both of their teenage twin daughters to suicide. She & her husband have campaigned for young people to be able to be diagnosed with #BPD >
2. to be able to access appropriate services. Their daughters Chris & Sam were constantly being told that because their problem was not an ‘illness’ that could be medicated, they could not access any treatment. Both had all of the main symptoms that fit a #BPD diagnosis & >
3. struggled to manage the emotional turmoil they felt with self harm & suicide attempts. The interesting thing is they both wanted the diagnosis in order to be able to access services. They both rejected the idea of services for trauma and instead wanted ones that were for >
Read 24 tweets
10 Jun
1. I’ve had years of knowing stuff isn’t right and being gaslighted into it just being my ‘perception’ or pathology. It’s a pretty cruel thing to do when talking to someone diagnosed with a label that likes to include an ‘unstable sense of self’, ‘paranoid ideation’ & >
2. ‘severe dissociative symptoms’ as part of its diagnostic criterion bullshittery. After finally catching wind that actual evidence existed that I had been excluded, lied to, had things hidden from me, I felt so relieved and happy to finally have something solid to show that >
3. although I’m a loud proud member of the Mad movement, I’m not losing the mind I’ve worked so hard to keep. But that has been replaced by sadness that people would actively use my disability - which I am open about for work purposes - to gaslight me in this way. I have to >
Read 11 tweets
26 May
1. I am so, so proud of my fellow Mad activists/allies & supporters who came to a board meeting to support a collective of us raising concerns about #LXP working during public questions. There were ten of us altogether. We had come together in the space of a week, identified >
2. shared concerns about career blocking, exploitation, deliberate exclusion of LXP staff. We gave the recent secretly turned away funding for an #LXP senior post as an example. We had three people scheduled to ask questions, but - and u couldn’t make this shit up... >
3. The third presenter, who was due to ask questions on staff wellbeing wasn’t able to due to being hospitalised over the weekend with a suspected stroke. Being mad is stressful, unfortunately. Instead, two of us covered their section. We left feeling good that the questions we >
Read 15 tweets
18 May
1. What people refer to as ‘personality disorder’ in terms of ‘emotional dysregulation’ is interesting. Rather than dysregulation, I’ve noticed a lot of people appear to have a highly sensitive, finely tuned reception to other people’s emotional communication. Not everyone of >
2. course, that would be a massive generalisation. But a lot of people can sense or have intuition of when something feels wrong, or a persons mood is good or bad. Much is likely to have come from early childhood experiences where this skill kept some people safe. It’s less of >
3. a mystical power, more of a supernatural skill that has been developed. But it doesn’t mean that the emotional communication your highly sensitive instrument can be read or interpreted accurately. The emotional data given by the other person when learning the skills as a >
Read 11 tweets
9 May
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 >
Read 21 tweets
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 >
2. ensuring that decisions about LX practice or services can never be made by the Lived Experience Professional in the room, that you take those decisions outside of the room, this causes distress and harm. The harm caused by the abuse is used an example of why #LXPs are >
3. described as ‘vulnerable’, or prone to going off sick. Let’s just be very plain speaking about this - LXPs aren’t vulnerable. They are warriors who have been through wars. What they are is people who already have battle wounds, coming into workplaces that will particularly >
Read 13 tweets

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