Back onto the subject of mental health and professionals, I’ve been trying to work out who I think comes across as least openly judgemental toward patients with mental health issues/illnesses. Now I just want to say that in no way do I think everyone in a professional group acts the same way and while the majority might there are some really wonderful acceptations which really stick with me, I try and remember as much of the good as the bad. This is entirely based on MY OWN opinion and of the experiences in our area.
What I have come up with so far has been this..
- Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants – openly judgemental with a&e staff being one of the worst.
- Police – highly openly judgemental; rather deal with anyone but them, though I did meet an amazing officer who was the exact opposite.
- Teachers – openly Judgemental, he’s ill, that’s all, nothing else.
- CMHT, CPN’s, SW’s – openly judgemental, in fact I often question why some are in the job!
- Which brings me to Ambulance crews – I think I have decided they are the least openly judgemental of mental health patients (again only from this area and what we have come across, entirely my own opinion) because they haven’t once treated Chris with anything other than dignity and respect.
I still maintain that a lot of it is they don’t know what to say or more importantly what not to say, how to react, and what mental illness even is half the time. I’m not quick to complain, more to make suggestions of things that might actually help them, for example I emailed our local police station after two officers told Chris ‘don’t be so selfish you have a partner and children’ after he had overdosed. I simply said that it wasn’t helpful to say that to someone with the problems Chris suffers, that could they remind their officers that sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something that could leave someone feeling a lot worse than before they were on the scene. While I don’t believe they wanted to cause Chris to feel worse, or create even more of a situation, their lack of understanding wasn’t helpful and if no one brings it up how are they to learn and improve.
After telling a doctor on MAU once he had a mental illness, he asked what it was so I said ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ and he said ‘has he got an actual mental illness’ I mean what do I say to that? I wanted to say ‘well it effects his brain, his thinking and processing, that’s all mental, combined with the fact he’s taken a substantial amount of tablets and is still suicidal, he is also under the Community MENTAL health team, so yes he’s got a mental illness but hey doc you should know more about this than me surely?’ *Bangs head on wall* I resisted the urge to say anything and kept it buttoned, probably best all round.