Stubbing Out Our Rights

nickh

nickh

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#1
This one may be controversial with some but then people are free not to get involved :), and it is a cause I totally support.

From 1st July all mental health inpatient units in England will have to close their smoking rooms. Some units have no access to a secure outdoor area meaning that anyone detained under the Mental Health Act will have to give up smoking on admission. WISH (Women in Secure Hospitals) have set up a campaign to oppose this called Stubbing Out Our Rights and launched a petition. The web-site is at....

http://www.stubbingoutourrights.org.uk/

You can sign the petition on-line or download a paper copy (in fact the campaigning ideas there are ones which we might adopt for our own purposes - ok adopt = nick :) ). There is also a link to the Mental Health Foundations Report on this issue which looks fascinating.

My own experience as an in-patient was that the vast majority of people smoked and personally I cannot imagine how I would have got through the experience if in addition to everything else I had to give up nicotine. One extraordinary thing about these regulations is that prisons are exempt!!!!!! So you are better off as a convicted felon than as a Mental Health patient. Says it all really :mad::mad:.

Nick.

PS: I'm afraid I had never heard of WISH before this (I am soooooooooo ignorant) - it was set up in 1991 as User Led organisation to address the conditions of Women in Secure Hospitals. Maybe others here will know more of this organisation.
 
D

Dollit

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#2
I don't smoke anymore Nick but when I did and I was quite seriously ill I need to be able to smoke in the hanging around time between seeing people and forcing me to stop would have seriously damaged my ability to cope. What next, compulsory sterilization?
 
daffy

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#3
I managed to stop smoking a long time ago now, but i think its totaly wrong and potentially dangerous to stop in patients from smoking. Its stressful enough for a a non MH sufferer to stop but to expect a depressed/psychotic person to go without is ridiculous and positivly dangerous. My daughter works in this line of work for the NHS and has been kicked and punched on many occassions and im sure it can only get worse.

What is wrong with them having a well ventilated room. It doesnt have to be comfortable just a few seats so thy can have there fag and leave. This was how it was when i worked. The smoking room was small and cold and not very inviting generally. So people teneded just to go in for as short a time as possible, and because of this quite a few packed in the fags
 
nickh

nickh

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#4
Yup, yup, yup Dollit and daffy :).

I've been looking at the Introduction to the Mental Health Foundation report on the issue (it is very long so I don't know that I would read the whole thing :) - at least on-line as I find too much on-line reading makes me tired). Anyway the figures are really interesting....26% of adults smoke, 56% of depressives, 70% of Mental Health inpatients and 70-74% of schizophrenics. So it is a big issue for our community. And it is a form of self-medication I guess - it does induce dopamine release (I get a bit lost with this chemical stuff but know what they mean); so people with Mental Health problems who want to give up face additional complications.

:) for me getting off the drink/drugs was enough; giving up nicotine would be a step too far. I do know I smoke far more when I am ill though. When well I try to exercise a modicum of control.

But back on issue I quite agree daffy - you can make the environment unpleasant (although in my inpatient days the whole bloody environment was very unpleasant!) or you can ensure that people have access to an outdoor area. I have no problem with having to go outside at restaurants for instance.
Actually thats another reason for smoking cos it allows me to have some time on my own in social situations - have a break. Sorry getting irrelevant again. I'm a born rambler (in thought anyway :)).

Nick.
 
Yellowcoaching

Yellowcoaching

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#5
I do think this is especially hard on patients who don't have the right to leave, I have seen some forensic secure units where offenders are serving out their sentences. One man even said he would continually assault staff untill they returned him to prison so he "could have a bl**dy fag!" I don't think he was serious but it did raise a valid point.

How can prisons be exempt and those who are sectioned not?

Doesn't make a great deal of sense to me, I think it needs to be all or nothing.