Tag: forced treatment
I ended up admitted to a psychiatric hospital without being involved in that decision. At a time of stress and vulnerability I expected genuine support. Instead I had the police on my doorstep and I was locked into a building for three weeks. Forced hospitalisation was a serious trauma and I continue to suffer post-traumatic stress over a decade later.
Every year, around 46,000 people in England are subject to compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act. Black people are around four times more likely to be ‘Sectioned’ than White people. Let’s take steps to change the law here in the UK, protecting the rights of people within the mental health care system to exercise informed consent and preserve their autonomy.
Having one’s rights and freedoms removed is inherently degrading, no matter how nicely or correctly the procedures for enforcing and managing those removals are implemented. When one’s ability to act autonomously and in personally meaningful ways is significantly undermined for an extended period of time, it is soul destroying, and for me, it certainly contributed to my escalating mental distress.
We urgently require action that will grab media attention, jolt us out of our collective apathy and act as a catalyst for us all to question why we collude with legalised discrimination against those unfortunate people tagged with a ‘mental disorder’. Psychiatric nurses conscientiously objecting to forced psychiatric treatment would potentially achieve these aims.
I felt compelled to write this account of my experiences as a mental health nurse. All identifying details have been changed. However, this is a true account of the conversations I had and the people I met. I believe it needs to be heard. It’s been three years since I completed my training to be a mental health nurse. During the course, my time working on hospital wards and within community teams shocked and disturbed me profoundly.
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