BBC Breakfast Interview

This morning I spoke on BBC Breakfast with Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s police and crime commissioner to talk about the use of cells as a place of safety for people suffering from mental illness.

A home affairs committee report has called for a change in the law so that cells are no longer deemed a ‘place of safety’ under the Mental Health Act. I spoke out about my experience of the night I spent in a cell due to a mental health crisis. I was not violent, I had not done anything wrong, I was unwell. You would not leave a physically ill person in a cell and in the care of police officers so why would you leave someone with a mental health problem in this situation? Mental illnesses are health problems requiring health care.

I hope by continually speaking out and raising awareness then change will happen. If we are to end the use of cells then we need to improve care. More beds are needed, there’s a lack of funding, a lack of staffing. We need changes not only in crisis care but in the little bit before crisis care when people are saying “Look I’m really not okay, I need some help” and are often brushed off or sent home and told to have a cup of tea. If we are to succeed in ending the use of cells, we need major improvements in our failing health care system.

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3 thoughts on “BBC Breakfast Interview

  1. Please keep talking and making your voice heard.

    It is people like you and all the others who have shown the courage, bravery and strength to talk about mental health across the board – whether it be campaigning for policy changes or simply urging people to not suffer in silence – that helped me to finally start seeking the help I needed.

    I owe a debt of gratitude to each and every person who showed strength before me and showed me another path and hopefully in the future I can do that for other people too.

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  2. Thank you for the time and effort you put not only into your own healing journey, but others journeys as well. That takes some courage whether you’re able to feel that or not. I have a .jpg that I would like to email you that I think you would find humourous re mental health vs mental health. My email is tyga @ slingshot .co .nz – if you would like the image, please feel free to email me – let me know who you are etc. Be Well.

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