Calling The Mad To Arms

The BBC have a report today about how cuts in funding are adversely affecting the care those with mental health problems are receiving. It does not surprise me that we are the first to suffer in our present government's campaign to render the national health service not fit for purpose so that they can sell it to their friends in the private sector. When even the supposed guardians of morality in England, the bishops of the Church of England, completely ignore the rights of the mentally ill, what hope is there that secular agencies will feel the need to be anything other than bigoted towards us.

Those of us who suffer from mental illness need to take a leaf out of the book of the physically disabled and others who embarrass the normals, such as gay people and those with developmental disabilities. We need to be far more aggressive in our demands for equality and our human rights. The organisations that are supposed to represent us are pathetically apologetic and far too cosy with the establishment. Worse, they are a bunch of patronising do-gooders. For example, my local branch of MIND has just set up a "well-being" centre in the high street. From what I can see it is all about getting us mad people to do needlework and other useless hobbies. We would be a lot better off if they stopped pleasing themselves, setting up stuff where we are the passive recipients of their charity, and started to provide us with the wherewithal to challenge the prejudice we face everyday.

We do not want hobbies and a shoulder to cry on. We want jobs and respect.

What we need locally is a club where we are in charge and where we can meet, without an appointment, to give each other the strength to carry on and to organise ourselves into an effective campaigning group that understands its own needs from experience rather than being told by the inexperienced what our needs are. We need to do stuff like picketing the premises of firms that act prejudiciously against their staff members who have mental health issues. A good start would be the Bishop's Office in Bishops Auckland.

Comments are closed.