As well as general demands for improved rights of disabled people DPAC, Mental Health Resistance Network and Recovery in the bin have drawn up a set of specific demands for Mental Health.
After decades of oppression we believe that disabled people must be afforded self determination from the grass roots level. “Nothing About Us Without Us” must become a reality.
No Longer will we tolerate large disability charities which see us as nothing more than marketable commodities from which to make profits for their own benefit speaking for us and deciding our futures. We expect a Labour Party which claims to support disabled people’s rights to ensure that it is our voices that are listened to and not the empty voices of our oppressors. Without this guarantee DPAC cannot approve of the disability policies of any political party.
DPAC priorities for setting Mental Health Disability Policies.
We deplore the appropriation of the Recovery Model by statutory services and government departments in order to justify the withdrawal of services and benefits from people who need them.
Compulsory MH Training for Professionals in Various Fields
- Mental health training should be compulsory for all health care professionals, including doctors and nurses, and suicide awareness training should be given to all health care professionals. Such training should be kept up to date.
- All Police Forces should have full mental health awareness training, stop using section 136, and acknowledge that custody suites and lock-ups in police cells are not safe places.
- Mental health awareness training and crisis awareness training should be available for all teaching staff in primary and secondary schools, and further education institutions.
- A person suffering from mental distress should be treated with respect, courtesy, dignity, and consideration at all times as should and their families and friends.
We demand the abolition of forced treatment and Compulsory Treatment Orders (CTOs).
- All treatment should be with the full agreement of the person being treated and with their full understanding of the side effects of treatment, both pharmaceutical and psychological.
7.We demand the right to refuse treatment as it is ratified under the United Nations Convention Rights People with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
8.We want recognition of the link between abuse and trauma, and mental distress. The British Psychological Society has already made this link.
9.We demand the recognition that child abuse prevention is also mental distress prevention.
- We want the abolition of the medical model of mental distress to be replaced with an acceptance that mental distress is part of the human condition and is a normal response to adverse events and circumstances. Appropriate care and support should be the right for all people suffering from mental distress.
- Long term psychological treatments should be provided freely to all who need them and talking therapies should not be restricted to short term interventions. We recognise that not everyone wants talking treatments and this should be respected.
- The person experiencing mental distress should decide their care and always have their wishes respected.
- There should be a recognition that the use of alcohol and drugs are a form of self medication for many in mental distress. Drugs should therefore be decriminalised.
14.Access to detox and drug rehab programmes should be available to everyone.
15.We demand recognition that many social values that are common place, such as competition being intrinsic to human relationships, are erroneous and cause harm to people’s mental health.
- Bereavement counselling should be made available for all children who lose a parent or supporting person.
Financial Needs – Individual and Other Support
- We demand recognition that the WCA and PIP assessment processes are detrimental to people’s mental health and should be scrapped. The money saved by not paying Private Companies to carry out these assessments should be re-invested into better services.
- We demand guaranteed financial security and appropriate housing for everyone experiencing mental distress.
- No aspect of the social security system should cause distress or deterioration in a claimant’s mental health condition.
- Funding should be provided for Crisis Care to be made available for help and support 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
- Funding should be made available for the setting up of Crisis Houses as safe spaces. Access to these should be every person’s right and should include ‘sitters’ who will be there to support people throughout these times.
- We want hospital beds to be replaced with beds in settings similar to domestic environments.
- More provision of services for children and young adults. 1 in 10 children are being denied mental health service support which is having a huge impact on the family and schools.
- Concessionary travel passes should be made available to all people living with mental distress to enable independence in the community and to attend appointments with health care professionals, thus aiding mental wellbeing.
- We want special support centres for young men who are suicidal and a paradigm shift away from the “norms” which are set as ideals of masculinity and may contribute to the high rate of suicide in young men.
26.Funding should be made available for research into mental health care that is based on a Social Model of mental distress; such funding should at least equal the current amount of money available for pharmaceutical research.
27.We demand the provision of special support for people with mental distress to ensure their children remain with them as a family.
- We demand a holistic approach to care – where a person has both a physical and a mental health problem, such impairments should be treated equally with respect and with dignity and with full understanding that a physical impairment can impact on a mental health impairment and vice versa.
- We want specialist support to be made available for ALL armed forces veterans who experience mental distress and for housing to be made available to them.
- We deplore the underfunding of mental health services in the NHS and the current practice of discharging people with mental health problems from secondary care into primary care where their needs cannot be met. These services should be properly funded.
- Any crime against someone with a mental health condition should be treated as a hate crime.
- We want an ongoing campaign to end all bullying in schools and work places and within families and general society where such bullying is linked to mental distress.
- Action should be taken to end the ongoing discrimination against LGBT people as such discrimination can lead to mental distress.
Further Investigations Needed
- We demand a full investigation into the effects of long term use of psychiatric medications and demand that mental health professionals treat reports of side effects of medication seriously.
- We want a full investigation into the appropriateness of the continuous use of medication as the main form of treatment for people in mental distress.
- We demand a full public inquiry into the impact on people in mental distress of being detained in Prison Environments.
- We want a full investigation into why so many people from BME communities are being diagnosed with a mental health condition.
- We want an investigation into the harmful effects of E.C.T.
- We demand an inquiry into the success or otherwise of the use of personal budgets for day care provision for people living with mental health problems.
- We demand a full public inquiry into the significantly shortened life expectancy of people with mental health conditions and a full report produced with recommendations which should be implemented.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)