This is a question that one service user asked me today when they contacted me about the campaign. Their email is below.
Subject: Do you think I would be less likely to get a bed at all if I publish my name?
Knowing that there is support at hand is a huge part of coping with my
mental health problem. The crisis team do their best, but there are too
few of them and they are so overstretched. Sometimes, being a voluntary
inpatient is the only option to stop things getting worse. But the
thought of being sent so far away is terrifying. My parents would find
it very hard ( and expensive) to visit and my friends, especially those
with children would find it just as difficult or impossible. Isolation
would make recovery much more difficult. You've done such a good job so
far raising this. What else do we need to do to get the beds reopened?
We would hope not, but we don't know. One of our team has already spoken out in their own name as have two of our contributors, but we know its a fear that a lot of us have. We'd like to think that the Trust wouldn't behave in that way and we know that the ward staff at The Orchard wouldn't, but the fact remains that we are bringing the trust into the public eye in a very negative way.
We have to speak out though. Denying women local inpatient care with no acceptance of the impact this is having on us must be challenged.
As for the last question of "What else do we need to do to get the beds reopened?", we don't know the answer to that either, but we have resolved that we will not stop campaigning until they are reopened and we will use any means that we can to apply pressure to the Trust until that happens.