Today, after four years of campaigning, I finally met with Welsh Assembly Member, John Griffiths AM. John is my local political representative in the Welsh Assembly. In Wales, health is a devolved matter and is dealt with in the Cardiff National Assembly, rather than in parliament. Since the launch of End Of Terror five years ago, both John Griffiths and his parliamentary cohort, Jessica Morden MP,
have attentively supported our needs. There has been an extensive correspondence via email and I am regularly in touch via telephone with both their offices. On no fewer than two previous occasions our scheduled public meetings have been cancelled due to me being sectioned. It is thus much overdue that I finally met in public with John, in order to thrash out the End Of Terror campaign and to seek a much-needed political solution to the issues that the #EoT movement raises. We met at 2pm on Friday, 6th January 2017, at Aroma Coffee Shop in Caldicot Town Centre.
John is well up to speed on all End Of Terror developments and in addition to our current filings with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, John has kindly petitioned the Welsh Minister for Health, on our behalf. In a previous post you can see some of EoT’s political agenda and the issues that we campaign for politically. – See –
John listened attentively to my campaigning for well over an hour and explained to me in detail on how best to pursue my cause. He identified that in order to successfully petition the government that End Of Terror need to network more and grow its supporter base in order to achieve more political clout. He mentioned that organisations such as MIND are successful in getting the government’s attention as they speak on behalf of a multitude of campaigners. I think that at End Of Terror we shall certainly use John’s advice and try to expand our reach and involve more people. to date it has sort of been an individual’s campaign by me and I am but a lone wolf, crying in the darkness.
We spoke about the concerns I have about the local system being far too decadent and out of control. There is a definite need for psychiatrists and their employees to be reigned in. I really want there to be a system of balances and checks in place so that omnipotent psychiatrist power can be curtailed. We spoke about the need to divorce police power from mental health services and also for a fairer court system to be put in place. I want a twenty-first century mental health service and an abolishment of Victorian Bedlamist attitudes towards mental health sufferers.
There was a recognition that Big Pharma is out of control and that there is an overdependence on clinical solutions when perhaps more should be done with improving talking therapies. John mentioned the statistics that one in three people now suffer from a mental health issue. I am especially keen to erode the power of Big Pharma, the multibillion dollar fraud that drives this hideous inhumane industry.
Ideally, there will be more power for mental health advocates who at present are in a position of limbo, despite the Labour government’s introduction of them as an entity some decade or so ago.
I suggested that the Welsh government consult mental health solicitors more as these are a body of people who are intelligent and have their finger on the pulse in being able to truly assess the reality of mental health services in a holistic manner.
John said that he would try and open the doors for me with regard to consulting the mental health committees in government and we talked of the need to also meet Jessica Morden MP in future in order to make changes in Parliament itself.
I was keen to encourage John and other local politicians to visit their local hospitals, just to see for themselves how threadbare services here actually are. We must end the inhumane conditions for mental patients, wherever they are. I stressed how there must be an end to treating mental patients like animals and to rid the subhuman attitudes that divide the gulf between staff and patients.
John is keen to erode the public stigma attached to mental health sufferers and he feels that there is movement towards mental health achieving parity with physical health services across Wales. John recognises that often in the past mental health has been a ‘Cinderella service’ that has been overlooked.
John was pleased that I am currently outside of the mental health system and that I am getting on with my degree. We agreed to stay in close contact and I am certain that as my political representative, despite mental health being such a difficult area politically, that John will assist our EoT endeavours long into the future.
It was a true pleasure to have the time of such an important person in the local community and I felt pleased that my voice had been heard and I truly believe that real change can now be achieved in the field of mental health in southeast Wales and the wider world. Thank you for your time, Mr Griffiths. All the best for the future from the End Of Terror movement. Let’s all fight together for change and improvement in mental health services…