I was concerned to read in last weeks Roscommon People that a Day Centre for people who have experienced mental health difficulties is due to close. A woman who has attended the Teach de hIde Centre for years wrote in the paper that her life would be severely adversely affected if the centre were closed. However, on the same page a Consultant psychiatrist, Dr Byrne, writes that the closing of this facility is in line with the ‘Recovery’ model of mental health and that the closing of this Day Centre will be better for patients. This does not make sense as when I googled the ‘Recovery model’ it clearly defines it as model which challenges the ‘psychiatric power base’ and which places the service user as central in defining what is best for their own mental health.
Surely if the Roscommon psychiatric services are too move towards a recovery model then the views of the service users regarding what is best for their mental health take precedence over the views of psychiatrists. A ‘modern’ facility, as Dr. Byrne recommends, may in fact be a lifeless building full of anonymous corridors for many service users.
It is time that psychiatry moved away from its dominant medical model and truly took on board the recovery model by listening to its service users. The most vulnerable in society need to be empowered to lead in the development of their own mental health services, but they cannot do so if their views are ignored by the paternalistic soundings of psychiatry.
What we need to realise above all else is that we are not talking about case numbers on a clipboard, although I'm sure some would convince themselves that is the case, we're talking about human beings. People just like you and I who seem to have an element of their autonomy removed. People who are to all intense and purpose vulnerable members of our society, and it is our duty to ensure we advocate for their best interests. It is true that budgets must be balance, but in my humble opinion, this should not be at the expense of the quality of life of people who have found a second home in Teach di Hide.
"If you're willing to keep moving forward, eventually you will succeed."
All opinions and views expressed are my own, they do not necessarily reflect the positions of my businesses.
One reader asked why I monitor my comments and why they must be approved, and just for the rest of you it's not for censorship, it's because of Spam-bots. I'll publish all comments posted by real people :)