...... it's for everyone
"It is quite possible - overwhelmingly probable, one might guess -
that we will always learn
Why Mental Magazineuk /
"DOES SCHIZOPHRENIA EXIST"
draft mental health bill containing proposals to change the 1983 Mental
Health Act was issued for consultation, 25 June-16 September 2002......
motion was defeated by 112 votes to 2.
Professor Tony Maden of Imperial College opened the debate arguing for the motion. He put forward that the Mental Health White Paper ensured that 'difficult' patients received treatment rather than punishment, and that the government's interest in public protection was valid.
Paul Bowen, a barrister of Doughty St Chambers, opposed this, pointing out that the White Paper severely constrained liberty, expanded the class of people subject to coercion, and breached the Human Rights Act.
Next Dr Chris Burford, a consultant at St Ann's Hospital, Tottenham, supported Professor Maden and the motion. He spoke of changes in psychiatry and the difficulties of 'revolving door' admissions; he suggested that the White Paper provided a framework for treating vulnerable people who otherwise missed or evaded treatment.
Finally, Dr Andrew Johns a consultant of forensic psychiatry at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, concluded by noting that the White Paper coerced both patients and psychiatrists. He rounded up the debate by reiterating the estimation that 5000 patients would require detention in order to prevent a single homicide by a person with a mental disorder.
After comments and questions from the floor the audience was able to
vote on the motion again. It turned out that still only 1.5% supported
the implementation of the White Paper. However the number of those
opposed had increased to 90%. The speakers opposing the motion had
evidently convinced the majority of those undecided before the debate,
whose number dropped to a mere 8.5%.
"RIGHTS NOW" lobby of Parliament
Tuesday, 10 December
The following is the press release from DAN
(Direct Action Network for disabled people) is calling for an end to
this old style bashing of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in
our society and wants the government to open up real dialogue with the
movement about how to remove the real barriers to work for disabled
want to work with you on this.
Everything affects everybodyÖ..
I am Rosemary Moore and I live in Surrey, England. Since my motherís death in a mental hospital 19 years ago I have seen an increasing deterioration in services for vulnerable people in hospitals and in the community, to the extent that services scarcely exist and what is provided often creates and exacerbates mental and physical problems.
The same shortcomings in the mental health services that led to my motherís death continue. One of the most serious is the practice of distancing relatives and friends from the patient so that there is no one independent of the statutory services to advocate for the patient.
At the time of my motherís death, my brother was a detained patient in the same psychiatric unit. >From the age of 21, over 30 years ago, he has been treated (with medication) for Schizophrenia. And, in 1987 - after jumping out of a hostel window in Putney - he became paralysed from the waist down. I have continued (unsuccessfully) to try to see that he receives appropriate care from the statutory services and, since 1994, I have also tried to help our sister who suffered a mental breakdown. In June 2002 my sister was admitted to this same psychiatric unit, her last admission being six years ago, which has confirmed the escalating deterioration in services. The increasing amount of self-harm, suicide and violent incidents are dealt with either by indifference or damage limitation exercises.
At the moment - like many other friends and relatives of patients - I am providing, as best I can, the care and attention that should be available from the statutory services - and most of the time I am in conflict with the statutory services - which leaves my relatives totally dependent on me. If I were unable to look after them and fight for their rights, they would be at the mercy of a dysfunctional care system. My aim is to see the statutory services improve so that my relatives and all vulnerable people are able to live safely and happily within their communities, receiving appropriate help, as of right.
Rosemary Moore, July 2001
The Man in the White Suit
One such "white suit" is Guardianship in the 1983 Mental Health Act, which runs through the entire Act and can be used for any mentally disordered patient at any time, whether in hospital or not. It also places a legal responsibility on an individual and/or social services department to see that the patient receives appropriate assessment and care at all times.
Over the years there have been many attempts to destroy this power - particularly by the Mental Health Act Commission with the recommendation to "beef it up" by attaching an additional power to "treat" patients in the community. This would have turned Guardianship into what was proposed by the White Paper issued just before Christmas 2000 - an order enabling the statutory services to forcibly medicate patients outside a hospital. (NB: a public debate held at the Maudsley Hospital on 5 July, rejected the White Paper proposals for changes to the 1983 Mental Health Act by 112 votes to 2 - more details...)
Although Guardianship has survived in its original
form in the current mental health act, there
has been a uniform reluctance to use it (usually on the grounds that it is
"toothless") from social services departments, doctors, hospital managers, and
mental health tribunals. There has been a similar resistance from the legal profession,
professional bodies and mental health charities and the Mental Health Act Commission.
Guardianship which safeguards any patient inside or out of an
institution - will be scrapped in the proposed new mental
Rosemary Moore, July 2001
Bettina Moore (RIP)
Rosemary Moore, July 2001
Ann OíNeill (RIP)
Rosemary Moore, July 2001
After spending 27 years in Broadmoor, Crowthorne, Berkshire - a high security mental hospital - on Tuesday 8 July 2003 Janet Cresswell was transferred to Thornford Park, a medium secure mental hospital, also in Berkshire. Janet was 45 when she was sent to Broadmoor, she is now 72.
On 9 June 2002, the Independent on Sunday newspaper started a mental health campaign focussing on the proposed changes to the Mental Health Act. Janet was featured in its first story and she has been referred to frequently in subsequent stories.
(This also tied in with a programme broadcast on UK Channel 5 on 23 July 2002 which also featured Janet. See "INSIDE BROADMOOR" message on mentalmagazine discussion board for more details.)
to www.independent.co.uk and put
"Janet Cresswell", "mental health campaign" or "Broadmoor" in the "search this site" box to find
Writer and performer Nikki Johnson contacted
Janet after seeing an article in The Sunday Times in
1987, and together
they wrote "The One-Sided Wall" which is the story of how
Janet came to be in Broadmoor and has stayed there.
Nevertheless, the hospital wrote telling me that Janet is suffering from "classic symptoms of a major mental illness"
Although I have known about Janet Cresswell since 1987 when - I read the Sunday Times article, I only contacted her in May 2000 after seeing her name published in the Department of Health November 1999 Report of the Expert Committee into the Review of the Mental Health Act 1983. Janet was listed as one of the people who had submitted comments about the proposed reforms. (See Maudsley debate on 5 July 2001 and News about the consultation on government proposals in the Draft Bill.)
I have visited Janet many times in Broadmoor and have a large number of letters from her mostly handwritten, as well as the stories and articles I have published on the net. Since May 2000 I have been corresponding with her doctor, the hospital authorities, the Home Office, her MP Glenda Jackson and another MP who is on the Health Select Committee, Eileen Gordon, and the Mental Health Act Commission. In May 2001, I had a personal meeting with Janet's Responsible Medical Officer (RMO) and have also visited the ward she is on and talked to the staff there.
(Before I set up this website) on 7 September 2000, I sent a message about Janet to five Internet mental health discussion boards. You can see this - the first message - and other messages about and from Janet on the MMuk discussion board. You can also find the "user survey" she conducted from within Broadmoor in 1993 and other stories and articles in the Files section of the noticeboard. These include "What's New?" her thoughts on the proposed changes to the 1983 Mental Health Act - in her view all the new legislation will achieve is to remove the necessity for clinicians to invent a mental disorder to warrant detention.
Janet is detained under the 1983 Mental Health Act and is therefore being held illegally since the authorities can provide no information to substantiate that she is either a danger to the general public nor that she is suffering from any form of mental disorder.
The misapplication of the 1983 Mental Health Act is, in my opinion, why our mental health services are so appalling. You can read more on the page dealing with mental health law and policies.
The following article is reproduced from the Sunday Times colour
supplement of March 1987 - "A Day in the Life
of...." This feature still appears and is always
the last page of the magazine.)
The story reproduced below was written by Janet Cresswell who at the time of the article had been already been an inmate of Broadmoor for 10 years, having been sent there in 1976 at the age of 45. This article is to be repubished by The Sunday Times in September 2003, one of a few selected from the many pieces published over the years. The reason it came to be written is that Janet read "A Life in the Day of Delia Smith" (the tv cookery guru) and thought her life was more interesting!
Janet Cresswell, sent to Broadmoor 10 years ago, describes what its like to be an inmate
A LIFE IN
THE DAY OF
Janet Cresswell, 55, was sent to Broadmoor 10 years ago for wounding a psychiatrist in protest at authorities' refusal to investigate the cause of her psychiatric problems. She was born in Bushey, Herts and went to Watford Grammar. She worked as a secretary and married an architect In 1956, but divorced seven years later; they have one daughter
The doors open and the lights go on at 7am. I don't get up then but wait for those who want a fag (they have to be washed and dressed to warrant a light) to get out of the way in the wash room. I could never understand the point of getting up at all if there was nothing useful to do, but those at Broadmoor feel differently. I bless my neurotic mother whose cigarette cravings made me a non-smoker since the age of seven.
After breakfast at eight my friend and I play Scrabble: it helps pass boredom time while medication is dispensed. Another friend goes through the Times and Telegraph crosswords and passes them over when she's finished. It puzzles me that there is so little outcry against psychiatric medicines - I have needed three gynae operations to counteract the drugs I was forced to have some years ago. What a funny National Health Service it is that pays money for having babies in an overcrowded society, gives free heart transplants, sex changes and psychiatry, but charges at a premium for dentistry and glasses.
When 'All work areas and school' is called over the Tannoy we assemble until our escorts are ready and the nurse on radio control has signaled we can move. Chaos reigns until we are at work. I am in the sewing room, but not because I can sew. When I am not employed replacing buttons for kitchen overalls or turning up nurses' uniforms, I perform some other form of handiwork acceptable to the institution. Before I came to Broadmoor, for stabbing a psychiatrist in the backside, I regarded myself as useless at handiwork. After 10 years I still feel I am useless at it but now accept that Broadmoor does not want me to do anything I am good at.
After lunch I make a pot of tea for the ward and sometimes get a reprimand for giving some to the old ladies who reside in the dormitory. They wee improperly but I think it is cruel to deprive them of a hot drink on that account. Time passes quickly here although there is little to show for it. The pace of nothing consists of a round of social and games events which take precedence over work, last on the list of priorities after visits to the hairdresser's, private visits, school, group therapy and anything else that can be conjured up. The summer is more regimented than the winter as we are made to go en masse into the garden, often for hours on end, with nothing to do. Security is so paranoid that even knitting is prohibited there. Rainy summers, therefore, are not unpopular with many.
Once a fortnight, we women are driven to revolution point when volunteer men come over for a chat. This is called a games evening, and the women have to attend - even those in bath chairs. This is one of the few forced social events and a case for women's liberation. However, as the issue is a trivial example of arrogance towards human rights, we do not complain too bitterly. Most of us realize that the social functions are more to justify staff employment than entertain us.
I don't believe in religion, but was surprised that one visitor, whose aim was a spiritual world and getting me out of Broadmoor, was banned from seeing me. Frankly, I can think of nothing worse than a spiritual world, except a medical one, but my visitor was of the opinion that if I could believe in something then some group would get interested in me and get me out. He felt that individuals did not have a chance. One or two friends did make approaches to the Home Office. I didn't think I would be in Broadmoor 10 years and am resigned to never having justice at all.
We have mounds of official visitors round from various parts of the empire. Guessing who they are is a game that has palled with such repetition. The police bound in like football teams, magistrates look tweedily well-dressed, health visitors clean and well-spoken, social workers and psychiatric nurses are usually a mixed, scruffy bunch, frequently clutching plastic bags as though on an outing to Brighton, while doctors, MPs and reps from the Home Office and DHSS are shown round in small parties escorted by what is termed 'the hierarchy'. One wonders what they have come to see.
One day there were 20 social workers from Hackney - I can recall no business firm which can manage with so many of its personnel missing on a day's outing. Last week there were four different parties here, including a batch of Japanese, complete with cameras and an interpreter. I wondered aloud if they were here to boost the British tourist industry and one patient rushed up to them to ask who they were. 'Doctors' was the reply.
Mug shots are renewed each time we change hairstyle, or every five years. One woman was recently photographed in each of her five wigs, but my hair grows so quickly that I merely have mine taken at the statutory time. So determined am I to conform to Broadmoor's description of me that I make myself look as awful as possible without actually drawing attention to myself. I screw up my nose ever so slightly and lift one side of my mouth to produce a sort of hare-lip effect. l am quite convinced that, in the event of my escape, my blown-up picture would precipitate the most anti member of the public to co-operate with the police.
One recent escapee, a friend from the room next door whom I miss enormously, has a gentle face and her photo on television gave the reverse impression of the description given of her. Looking far more manic, the MP who appeared on BBC raved that killers should not be allowed on outings from Broadmoor. I quite agree with him, but realize his definition of who is a danger to the general public is somewhat exaggerated. My friend hopped off from an outing when reaching the underwear section of Marks & Spencer. While the police were looking for her I wondered if she was having breakfast at Fortnum's. The question of outings is a tricky one, the policy of mixing hard-luck cases with the hardened ones is difficult to explain.
The notice board in the corridor has inherited one more bit of paper, this time the tennis draw for the female wing. We've not played tennis for years and the sudden enthusiasm is difficult to fathom. The fellow who has arranged the draw has made three to appear in the finals - perhaps he is changing the game to pig in the middle.
The library van comes over (from the male side) once a fortnight - it has been out of action for some weeks - and books on prison life are well read. Charriere's Papillon and Ranco remind us that Devil's Island has been closed as a penal colony and things here could be worse. Solzy-whatshisname's Gulag and similar amaze me - how did he maintain that writing style through thousands of pages? How similar are the thoughts of prisoners east and west. I have just finished a book sent to me from the States which compares psychiatry under Hitler and in America today. It's interesting reading and I wonder who I dare lend it to.
I pass the time playing cards, reading, knitting and so on. I am rarely sad to get locked up again at 9pm. I don't have night sedation, issued just beforehand. I have a clear conscience and mostly the only things that keep me awake are the floodlighting the builders have erected outside and also the flashing of the nurses' torches and their heavy foot-steps as they come round on their night inspection.
Joseph Heller (RIP) & Catch-22
This is the passage from the novel, about bombardier Yossarianís attempts to get himself out of having to fly combat missions, which he could do if he was deemed crazy. But he had to ask to be grounded himself and say it was because he was crazy - so he couldnít beÖYossarian, asks the doctor: (For more go to the Catch-22 Fan Page.)
"Sure thereís a catch," Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isnít really crazy."
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that concern for oneís own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didnít, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didnít have to; but if he didnít want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"Thatís some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"Itís the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
(from Chapter 4, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller)
FOR MORE: Go to the Catch-22 Fan Page
"Any form of authority requires justification; itís not self justified."
This comment applies, I think, to all of
us. I have used it as my banner quote for the
Chomsky also says in Language
& Problems of Knowledge:
A good website to get an overview of Noam Chomsky and which includes a discussion forum where you can communicate with Chomsky himself is at http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/index.cfm.
Go also to the MMuk
board for several messages that include Noam Chomsky's opinions on
the 11 September tragedy. (You will find these messages by
entering "Noam Chomsky" in the Search box.)
Tim Berners-Lee & the World Wide Web
Tim Berners-Lee has made the democratic dissemination of information possible. The only tribute that can be paid to him is to acknowledge that. Here is an article from The Sun, August 16 2000 that rightly says - this is the man who changed the world forever.
A book has just been published about Tim Berners-Lee -
Rosemary Moore, July 2001
By EMMA SHRIMSLEY
Day the wwworld changed forever
You may not have heard of Tim Berners-Lee. But ten years ago he changed the world.
Tim is the unsung hero who invented the world wide web. In the decade since the launch of his global communication system, tens of thousands of businessmen have used it to become millionaires. But amazingly, Tim has made hardly a penny himself. The London-born physicist was a software engineer at Cern, a laboratory in Geneva that investigates the tiniest particles of matter, where he dreamed up the Web.
He proposed a system that would link documents across the Internet, allowing people to share knowledge. Tim wanted it to be free, open and global. He has fought to ensure the Web is never privately owned. No caviar or Porsches for Tim, 45. who now lives In Boston, Massachusetts, with American wife Nancy and their two young children. He drives a 17-year-old VW Golf and earns a modest academic salary as head of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which tries to set and maintain technical standards on the Net.
Born in East Sheen, South West London, Tim was introduced to computers at an early age. His parents, Conway and Mary, worked on the first commercially-built computer, the Farranti Mark 1.
Derek Pennell, his Physics teacher at Emmanuel School, Wandsworth, remembers Tim as one of his best pupils ever.
Tim built a computer himself when he went on to Queen's College,. It was a crude contraption of spare parts and an old TV set, but it was a labour of love. After, graduating with a first class degree in theoretical physics, Tim started work as a software engineer.
He took a six-month contract at Cern in 1980 where he created hypertext a principle fundamental to the way the Web would work.
He wrote some software called Enquire which enabled him to highlight words in one document which would then direct him to other documents. Tim did not take the idea any further until after he returned to Cern in 1984 after a break on other jobs. He realised that everyone could benefit from his way of organising and sharing knowledge.
And so. in 1989, Tim sat down at his computer and polished up his Big Idea.
In his own words, his plan was for "all the Information stored on computers everywhere to be linked - a global Information space."
Naming his creation was no easy task. Informesh? No that sounded too much like Info-MESS. The Information Mine? No, the Initials spelt TIM and that seemed big-headed. He settled on World Wide Web - WWW for short. Pals told him it was a silly name because WWW takes longer to say than World Wide Web. But World Wide Web it stayed and Tim went public with it. As his project spread across the Internet like wildfire, he changed the lives of people everywhere.
In less than a decade the World Wide Web has grown to more than a billion pages on just about everything.
So next time you use it, remember who to thank.
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