Friday, 18 January 2013

mental health officers behaving badly

Today I was attending a Mental Health Tribunal, as a carer and mother, to advocate and ensure that accuracy of facts was maintained.  I just got in the door of the locked psychiatric ward when the MHO (mental health officer) saw me and said "What are you doing here?".  In full hearing of a solicitor, nurses, advocate, patients, tribunal clerk and others.  She soon found out.

Her remark was both inappropriate and unprofessional.  And confirmed to me that she was not up to the job.  Someone who is a qualified social worker and has received special training to be an MHO should not be blurting out their thoughts like this.  Of course I responded that I had been invited by my son to attend.  She looked surprised.

I'm not surprised at this behaviour after 40yrs experience of the psychiatric system.  But I am disappointed that yet again the mental health act safeguards are not working.  That social work is not supporting carers and appears to be colluding with the system, in this instance to separate a mother from her son, albeit a grown up son of 34 years.  It won't happen, not sure why they think it would.

Who are the mad ones?  The question has to be asked.  Social work departments that endeavour to separate parents from children, taking every opportunity to blame the caregivers rather than work with them to support.  Or folk like me who have to pick up the pieces after traumatic treatment.  

Ignorance is no excuse.

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