UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, EEC, Eurasia generally

I have worked in the general field of mental health for 35 years. As a therapeutic practitioner and as a manager (Psychosocial Therapies). During that time, I have successfully worked with people with serious mental ill health, learning disability, autism, brain damage and dementia.

I have been concerned about the prescriptive treatment of people with these kinds of problems and the tendency to make judgements against their wishes, without adequate sound evidence to support those decisions. Too many assumptions are made that impact upon personal freedom, dignity, informed choice and self-expression.

I have also witnessed many misdiagnoses and very unsound decisions, within Health & Social Care services and in the Law Courts and Child & Family Courts. The health, wellbeing and lives of my clients / families have been seriously affected these poor decisions. Many other cases have been reported to me.

Although I have met increasing numbers of skilful, person centred psychiatrists, therapists and social workers, there is still a tendency for the institutions to rely on outdate, erroneous assumptions about the cause, nature and resolution of these problems. Many practitioner are being constrained by ‘local’ policies & decisions.

My concern is that there are many contraventions of people’s Human Rights every day, on the most spurious interpretation of the use of special powers. It has become evident that the decisions are biased towards social control, rather the therapy. Local Institutions are very risk averse, protecting their position rather than client’s interests.

Most cases I have worked with, where there is psychosis, agitated behaviour and ‘behaviour problems’, there has been clear evidence of childhood & adolescent trauma and abuse. This may be at home, in social care and education institutions. Adults are also distressed in this way by ‘domestic / relationship abuses’.

This can be anything from physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, through ‘culture shock’, to bullying in home, school or work. Although I have been able to demonstrate this in individual cases, aided recovery and have successfully challenged most misdiagnoses, it has been difficult to get general attitudes changed.

I am campaigning for a thorough World Health Organisation review of Psychiatric thinking, theoretical foundations and health and social care practices. The evidence of organic causes are very rare and yet psychiatry largely works of the assumption of ‘mental incompetence’, due to genetic, or organic failings.

The social and clinical treatment have as many negative effects as they have benefits as they do benefits, especially when used indefinitely and on the basis of misdiagnosis and false assumptions.

The influence of psychiatry and forensic psychology, within the Law Courts is very dubious. The ‘expert witnesses’ are often the worst examples of clinical psychiatric practice and the Law is far too reliant upon their unsound assumptions and judgments. There is a very unethical aspect to psychiatric ‘expert witnesses’;

“Who is the patient and what are their rights here?”

We the undersigned, call upon the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the European Court of Human Rights, to establish a broad investigation and review of Psychiatric Practices in the key Western Nations, with the intention to extend this to other Nations. The objective: To improve social care practices and aid Social Justice.

The purpose of this review is:

To challenge, research and then evaluate the established assumptions of psychiatry and the social care practices based upon them, or influenced by them.

To identify and evaluate recent research (& other pragmatic findings), which contradict these assumptions &/or provide new insights into the social causations and negative contributions to mental distress & mental disablement of all kinds.

To establish a balance dialogue between various practitioners and users/receivers of psychiatrist & therapeutic services and other services reliant upon them (including Law Courts & Human Rights Commissions).

To identify the revisions needed to bring psychiatric and mental health thinking & practice into the 21 century. Identify how we can make practice more in keeping with the established Human Rights and Disability Rights legislation.

Seek to have this established as Law incumbent at local service levels, in all nations covered by the Conventions on Human Rights and Disability Rights.

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The Human Rights & Mental Health / Capacity - Stop Abuses petition to UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, EEC, Eurasia generally was written by Terry Couchman and is in the category Government at GoPetition.