People’s view must change

Left, Phillip Murphy, who suffers from schizophrenia, with Ivor Bermingham, the Involvement locality Swindon co-ordinator

Left, Phillip Murphy, who suffers from schizophrenia, with Ivor Bermingham, the Involvement locality Swindon co-ordinator

First published in News by

MENTAL health sufferers are often wrongly perceived as dangerous, violent or threatening and patients in Swindon are calling for an end to the prejudice.

While major strides have been made over the years to change mindsets regarding physical disability, very little has improved for people with mental health conditions as ignorance and judgment persist in the workplace and society.

And, although one in four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime in the UK, those seeking treatment still feel stigmatised and labelled as different and potentially dangerous.

“Mental health immediately brings the shutters down,” said Susan Coulthard, who is being treated by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership at Sandalwood Court.

“And whatever a person with a mental illness does it is put down to their illness.

“I’m not saying it never is but it often just comes down to the person not the illness.

“Over the years I’ve seen a change in people’s reaction to physical disability but not mental illness.

“It’s going back to the Dark Ages when someone was called a witch because they were different.”

Nigel Hopkins, 49, an ex-mental health service user from the town centre who sought treatment for anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, said: “Mental health patients are not a threat to society.

“It has become a form of racism. People are frightened of mental illness because they can’t see it.”

Phillip Murphy, 53, of Liden, who suffers from bipolar disorder said: “We need to help break that barrier.

“If one in four people suffer then you would think there would be more understanding.”

And with a supermarket recently peddling a Halloween ‘mental health patient’ costume covered in blood and sold with a murder weapon, steps must be taken to promote openness and fight ignorance, according to Ivor Bermingham, the involvement co-ordinator at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership.

“You are talking about a multinational company with PR teams who come out with an offensive fancy dress costume,” he said. “It goes back to ignorance, lack of education, understanding and awareness.

“We have a lack of awareness in all aspects of mental health right across society.

“It is important that we try to get the message out there that the key is to engage and learn.

“Because of this stigma and judgement some people are afraid to come forward for treatment.”

Comments (5)

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3:19pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Hmmmf says...

Nigel Hopkins said:
Mental health patients are not a threat to society.
It has become a form of racism. People are frightened of mental illness because they can’t see it.

Sorry, Nigel. According to the The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at least 10% of murder victims in the ten years from 2001 to 2011 were killed by people who were in contact with mental health services.

Nicola Edgington, Hannah Bonser, Samuel Lee, Lerone Boyne, Ahmed Ali, Daha Mohamed, Joanna Dennehy, the list of mental health patients who most certainly were and are a threat to society goes on and on. Trying to convince people that a very real threat does not exist isn't going to stop people being understandably concerned by it.
[quote][p][bold]Nigel Hopkins[/bold] said: Mental health patients are not a threat to society. It has become a form of racism. People are frightened of mental illness because they can’t see it.[/quote] Sorry, Nigel. According to the The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at least 10% of murder victims in the ten years from 2001 to 2011 were killed by people who were in contact with mental health services. Nicola Edgington, Hannah Bonser, Samuel Lee, Lerone Boyne, Ahmed Ali, Daha Mohamed, Joanna Dennehy, the list of mental health patients who most certainly were and are a threat to society goes on and on. Trying to convince people that a very real threat does not exist isn't going to stop people being understandably concerned by it. Hmmmf
  • Score: 1

7:04am Thu 5 Jun 14

ChannelX says...

I agree with the above.

Although even those who have published the scientific evidence do not publicise it, the reality is that certain - large - groups of mentally ill people do have a great proclivity towards violence and crime.

While it's true that this is usually down to alcohol and drug abuse, it's also true that mentally ill people are statistically far more likely to engage in alcohol and drug abuse.

The information is widely available, has been peer reviewed and is unchallenged.

Indeed, it is interesting that mental health charities campaign for convicts with mental health issues to be spared prison due to their crimes being committed because they're mentally ill (and therefore, the theory goes, unable to be held accountable or responsible for their crimes) and yet, at the same time, relentlessly try and convince the public that mentally ill people are no more likely to commit crime than anyone else. The two things do not add up.

However, it is not fair to blame mentally ill criminals. It is society that has failed them and society that refuses to deal with them properly. This is one instance where it actually is appropriate to 'blame Thatcher'. The Care in the Community policy has been an absolute disaster, mainly for mentally ill people themselves, but also those murdered by them.
I agree with the above. Although even those who have published the scientific evidence do not publicise it, the reality is that certain - large - groups of mentally ill people do have a great proclivity towards violence and crime. While it's true that this is usually down to alcohol and drug abuse, it's also true that mentally ill people are statistically far more likely to engage in alcohol and drug abuse. The information is widely available, has been peer reviewed and is unchallenged. Indeed, it is interesting that mental health charities campaign for convicts with mental health issues to be spared prison due to their crimes being committed because they're mentally ill (and therefore, the theory goes, unable to be held accountable or responsible for their crimes) and yet, at the same time, relentlessly try and convince the public that mentally ill people are no more likely to commit crime than anyone else. The two things do not add up. However, it is not fair to blame mentally ill criminals. It is society that has failed them and society that refuses to deal with them properly. This is one instance where it actually is appropriate to 'blame Thatcher'. The Care in the Community policy has been an absolute disaster, mainly for mentally ill people themselves, but also those murdered by them. ChannelX
  • Score: 1

12:48pm Thu 5 Jun 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

When we live in big cities, it is very easy for convicts and nutters to blend in.....
When we live in big cities, it is very easy for convicts and nutters to blend in..... A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 0

9:27pm Fri 6 Jun 14

multiscience1 says...

There is no way to explain in a paragrahp what is behind "mental health illness". Basically the problem start of the litle knowledge and missinformation that exist inside and outside the health professional's world.
It seems that people does not understand how antipsicotics, ansiolitics, and antidepresive works. Nowdays you can read their side effects in the pamphlets that include the boxes, which are among others "psychosis", "depression" "anxiety" "suicidal thoughts" provoking as well diabetes, damage the neurological system to the point of leaving patients in wheelchairs, problems with the blood pressure, changes the metabolism, diminish intelectuall ability/cognitive impairment, provokes changes in the neuronal pathway of the brain, changes in blood flow which can induce strokes as well, and addiction to a substance that do not resolve the mental problems, provoking early death, studies shows 20 years earlier than an average citizen.
ANTYPSICOTICS act by stopping neuronal conection in special the front of our brain with the other parts. It happen to be that abstract thinking, inlcuding believes in God and emotions and feelings as love cannot be created if that internal brain communication is broken, therefore we have two problems one is the well known "no feelings" and the other provoked "violence" as a result of the brain trying to reconnect the neurons that have been destroy in order to live, is a survival response. Death is the result of the destruction of our neuronal patways.
Therefore who ever speaks about people with mental problems that have kill, in a lot of ocassions these persons have been taking medication, and therefoe there is no way to know if their behaviour was as a result of the side effects of the medication or the supposed "original mental problems". Please bear in mind that potentially any of us can develop "a mental illness". Our brains are a very complex "machines" and none of us can be sure that the subsconciensce mind will be in peace with the conscience mind always. Physical illness can be mistaken as well for mental illness there are more than 100 physical illness that GP do not check before a person goes into mental health care!. VIOLENCE IN MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS is a result of psychiatric medication. There are a few psychiatrist with a lot of experience, more than 30 years in UK and US that have a reputable name and have been treating patients with psychosis, depression etc...without drugs as a result of the scientific studies that demonstrate how badly are this kind of medication. The problem we have is that the "new psychiatrist " do not have the option to be train to help people with other kind of therapies, as hypnosis, CBT etc..
and it is very difficult to accept a failure after been train for so many years in the proffession. The only option to stop this provoked suffering is to train more psychiatrist that can help on that line. Is thereforeTHE RESPONSIBILITY of CCG and other departmental groups to start a direction in that way and acknowledge where the problems are.
Every comment in this paragraph is backdated with scientific evidence fo more than 30 years, therefore this is not an opinion is a fact!
There is no way to explain in a paragrahp what is behind "mental health illness". Basically the problem start of the litle knowledge and missinformation that exist inside and outside the health professional's world. It seems that people does not understand how antipsicotics, ansiolitics, and antidepresive works. Nowdays you can read their side effects in the pamphlets that include the boxes, which are among others "psychosis", "depression" "anxiety" "suicidal thoughts" provoking as well diabetes, damage the neurological system to the point of leaving patients in wheelchairs, problems with the blood pressure, changes the metabolism, diminish intelectuall ability/cognitive impairment, provokes changes in the neuronal pathway of the brain, changes in blood flow which can induce strokes as well, and addiction to a substance that do not resolve the mental problems, provoking early death, studies shows 20 years earlier than an average citizen. ANTYPSICOTICS act by stopping neuronal conection in special the front of our brain with the other parts. It happen to be that abstract thinking, inlcuding believes in God and emotions and feelings as love cannot be created if that internal brain communication is broken, therefore we have two problems one is the well known "no feelings" and the other provoked "violence" as a result of the brain trying to reconnect the neurons that have been destroy in order to live, is a survival response. Death is the result of the destruction of our neuronal patways. Therefore who ever speaks about people with mental problems that have kill, in a lot of ocassions these persons have been taking medication, and therefoe there is no way to know if their behaviour was as a result of the side effects of the medication or the supposed "original mental problems". Please bear in mind that potentially any of us can develop "a mental illness". Our brains are a very complex "machines" and none of us can be sure that the subsconciensce mind will be in peace with the conscience mind always. Physical illness can be mistaken as well for mental illness there are more than 100 physical illness that GP do not check before a person goes into mental health care!. VIOLENCE IN MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS is a result of psychiatric medication. There are a few psychiatrist with a lot of experience, more than 30 years in UK and US that have a reputable name and have been treating patients with psychosis, depression etc...without drugs as a result of the scientific studies that demonstrate how badly are this kind of medication. The problem we have is that the "new psychiatrist " do not have the option to be train to help people with other kind of therapies, as hypnosis, CBT etc.. and it is very difficult to accept a failure after been train for so many years in the proffession. The only option to stop this provoked suffering is to train more psychiatrist that can help on that line. Is thereforeTHE RESPONSIBILITY of CCG and other departmental groups to start a direction in that way and acknowledge where the problems are. Every comment in this paragraph is backdated with scientific evidence fo more than 30 years, therefore this is not an opinion is a fact! multiscience1
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Fri 6 Jun 14

multiscience1 says...

Hmmmf wrote:
Nigel Hopkins said:
Mental health patients are not a threat to society.
It has become a form of racism. People are frightened of mental illness because they can’t see it.

Sorry, Nigel. According to the The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at least 10% of murder victims in the ten years from 2001 to 2011 were killed by people who were in contact with mental health services.

Nicola Edgington, Hannah Bonser, Samuel Lee, Lerone Boyne, Ahmed Ali, Daha Mohamed, Joanna Dennehy, the list of mental health patients who most certainly were and are a threat to society goes on and on. Trying to convince people that a very real threat does not exist isn't going to stop people being understandably concerned by it.
AS you say " According to the The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at least 10% of murder victims in the ten years from 2001 to 2011 were killed by people who were in contact with mental health services. "
Is that showing that treatments are going somehow wrong? you should do some more research in what are real mental illness and how bad in doing psychiatry at the moment by multiplying by thousands people sufering from chronical illness. Maybe if you could do some research about the subconscience and conscience mind of all of us you will realize that you and me are a potential individual that can become in a short notice a mental health ill patient and therefore a "dangerous" person.
It is incredible how litle knowledge about the brain is around now days!
[quote][p][bold]Hmmmf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nigel Hopkins[/bold] said: Mental health patients are not a threat to society. It has become a form of racism. People are frightened of mental illness because they can’t see it.[/quote] Sorry, Nigel. According to the The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at least 10% of murder victims in the ten years from 2001 to 2011 were killed by people who were in contact with mental health services. Nicola Edgington, Hannah Bonser, Samuel Lee, Lerone Boyne, Ahmed Ali, Daha Mohamed, Joanna Dennehy, the list of mental health patients who most certainly were and are a threat to society goes on and on. Trying to convince people that a very real threat does not exist isn't going to stop people being understandably concerned by it.[/p][/quote]AS you say " According to the The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at least 10% of murder victims in the ten years from 2001 to 2011 were killed by people who were in contact with mental health services. " Is that showing that treatments are going somehow wrong? you should do some more research in what are real mental illness and how bad in doing psychiatry at the moment by multiplying by thousands people sufering from chronical illness. Maybe if you could do some research about the subconscience and conscience mind of all of us you will realize that you and me are a potential individual that can become in a short notice a mental health ill patient and therefore a "dangerous" person. It is incredible how litle knowledge about the brain is around now days! multiscience1
  • Score: 0

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