Helping John

Ard Eoin

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take a look at this petition...

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/free-john.html

a new user wants this discussed but cant start the thread as they need 100 posts to do so...

i personally see no harm in starting it for them..

and my partner...who is a trainee psychiatric nurse...is interested in any opinions you may have....
 


Ard Eoin

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yeah...theres questions to answer ok...im sure S A...the new user will be along to inform us...
 

rockofcashel

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While an initial reading of that petition page would create great sympathy for John, the question still needs to be asked, why was he admitted to Carriag Mor in the first place, and why have medical professionals decided that it is in either his or the publics interest that he remain there.

If allowed out on day release or for longer periods, does John represent a physical danger to himself or the community at large ?
 

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spiritual_emergency

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Ard Eoin, on behalf of John, his partner, his son, his mother, his brothers and sisters, his friends, his supporters, and all the other 'Johns' out there... thank you.

yeah...theres questions to answer ok...im sure S A...the new user will be along to inform us...

Yes.


Music of the Hour: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw2vBYBE24Y]The Killers ~ All These Things I've Done[/ame]


 

spiritual_emergency

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Please help to Free John...


Background (Preamble): John Hunt is a trauma survivor with a diagnosis of 'paranoid schizophrenia'. He has spent over four years locked up in Carraig Mor psychiatric treatment centre in Cork city, Ireland.

He has been over-medicated on an array of psychotropic medications with dangerous adverse effects. He has had tardive dyskinesia, akathasia and has developed incontinence. His physical/ mental/ emotional/ spiritual health has been severely neglected and has deteriorated since being in Carraig Mor.

He has had no access to a rehabilitation team or psychotherapist and no day release in two years. There are no plans to rehabilitate John and return him to the community where he belongs. He is merely maintained and contained. John and his family have no voice in relation to his future. We are afraid that John's physical health is being damaged considerably. We cannot stand by and watch this happen any longer.

Source: Free John Petition
~ John is 28. He has spent the last 4 years in Carraig Mor high-security psychiatric unit under section in Cork city. He has a diagnosis of so-called drug-induced paranoid schizophrenia and has experienced terrifying psychotic episodes. He is on major neuroleptics/ psychotropic/ anti-psychotic medication with adverse effects (involuntary movements, extreme restlessness, lethargy, dizziness, vomiting, hallucinations, jaundice, diabetes, Parkinsonism, tooth decay, grey pallor, to name a few). ... Life in Carraig Mor is soul-destroying and the long-term use of toxic heavy medication is taking it's toll on John. He is 'maintained and contained' with barely any fresh air. He paces up and down the corridors, smoking.

Grainne Humphreys



~ John has committed no crime, those closest to him state that he is not dangerous and yet he has been incarcerated for more than 4 years against the wishes of himself and his family. There are no current plans to return him to his loved ones despite his immediate family offering total support and a planned package of care through EleMental with a psychiatric nurse and experts by experience willing to voluntarily be with and care for John.

Marion Aslan



The Mental Health Act of Ireland 2001 has given complete power to a treating consultant psychiatrist over John's life, he has the right to lock John up for the rest of his life. ... This law also gives the right to a treating psychiatrist to administer by force any or all medication they see fit, up to and including forced ECT and it is all legal under the Mental Health Act of Ireland. ...

His only semblance of a quasi court he has under this act is The Tribunals set up by the Mental Health Commission. These tribunals are held in secret, behind closed doors, they have the right to exclude all witnesses moral support up to and including the patients family. ... The patient/victim is brought before this tribunal in a highly drugged state, and expected to mount a defence.

John McCarthy



~ He has not seen the outside of the centre in over four years when he attended the christening of his now four-year-old son. The frustrated 29-year-old, who is a talented writer and artist, told the Cork Independent this week that he feels beaten: "The energy has been bullied out of me."

Christine Allen



 

Murra

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How did he get there? Is he there on a voluntary basis, through the courts or sectioned?

Have the family sought a judicial review of his placement there?
 

TradCat

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I saw this on Facebook and it has been on my mind since. It's easy enough to sign a petition but how many of us would take the decision to release someone with paranoid schizophrenia if it was really up to us? I mean if a doctor says he has the condition who are we to argue.

But really this is about power. On the one hand we have a mental health establishment who have complete power and on the other we have concerned people who care for the patient and are unhappy with his treatment. I'm going to sign because I want to give them support in raising the case. But I don't claim to know what the right outcome is Good luck to John and all those who care for him.
 

spiritual_emergency

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Cruimh: Why was Mr Hunt sent to Carraig Mor? Was he a dangerous man?

A valid question Cruimh. I'll do my best to answer it.

You'll note that John is identified as a victim of trauma -- he grew up in a household where violence was the norm. He often sought to protect his mother and younger siblings from his father -- in other words, he learned to defend himself and those he loved. As John grew up, he got into tussles -- both with his brothers and his mates although nothing serious. His first serious act of violence came at a point when he was being physically restrained. John was frightened, he sought to protect himself and he threw a punch, breaking one of his restrainers' nose in the process. If John's history is any more violent than that, I don't know about it. I have asked his partner, Grainne, to fully share with me any knowledge she's aware of in this regard and she has assured me that she has.

Meantime, perhaps it would be appropriate to introduce Grainne, John and their son, Josh...

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCIi2GoTePU]YouTube - The Incarceration of John - John, I love you, Sinead O' Connor.wmv[/ame]​


 

spiritual_emergency

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Some articles that have been written about John...

Call for review of psychiatric 'detention'
JIMMY WALSH

SEANAD REPORT: CALLING FOR a debate about the culture surrounding psychiatric care, deputy Seanad leader Dan Boyle (Green) said he had become aware that a woman in her 20s was being detained in a psychiatric facility partly because she was deemed to be in danger of being promiscuous in the outside world.

Mr Boyle said he had visited the facility last weekend, where he had seen a 29-year-old man and a woman aged 26. The man, who had been in the facility for four years, had a four-year-old child whom he seen only once during that period...

The woman had been there for five years and one of the reasons for her continued detention – “and I will define it as detention” – was that she was defined medically by some person as being in danger of being promiscuous if she was to get her liberty.

“When our cultural values inform our system of psychiatric health and care in such a way, I think we need to look at wider aspects than the type of bread and butter arguments that we tend to have in this House,” said Mr Boyle.

Geraldine Feeney (FF) said the story told by Mr Boyle beggared belief. “If I heard him right, a 26-year-old is in a mental institution for five years because someone belonging to her thinks she will be promiscuous if she is out in the world.”

Source: Call for review of psychiatric 'detention' - The Irish Times - Wed, Jun 23, 2010
Note, I believe one aspect of the article is incorrect. John does see his son Josh but with the exception of him being released to attend his son's christening four years ago, the remainder of their relationship has had to develop within the confines of a locked visitor's lounge. John has not been permitted passes to spend time with his partner, his son, his mother and siblings. His family believes these relationships are critical to his recovery and his lack of them is contributing to the turmoil of his ordeal.

 

rockofcashel

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Again SE, I have a huge amount of sympathy for John's plight. But if a professional, or I am sure a group of professionals are unable to make a decision regarding the safety of the general public from John, then is it in his or the general publics best interests that he leave Carraig Mór.

I would love to think it would be ok, but could I or anyone else signing a petition stand over the consequences if it weren't ?
 

spiritual_emergency

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Psychiatric prisoner
Written by Christine Allen
Thursday, 17 June 2010

A Cork woman has pleaded this week for the release of her partner who has been locked up in a Cork psychiatric unit against the wishes of his family for over four years. John Hunt (29) will not spend Father's Day with his four-year-old son Josh this Sunday. Instead he faces another day of heavy medication and detention in Carraig Mor in Shanakiel, against his will and to the emotional torment of his partner, son, mother and friends.

Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, John was first detained in 2006 after he suffered a breakdown, according to his partner Grainne Humphrys from West Cork.

She has started an online campaign for his release from what she calls a "psychiatric prison" and a "chemical straitjacket".

"John suffered a breakdown when I was pregnant with our son Josh and his frightened mother Marion signed him in. But now, we can't get him out. We have no say," she told the Cork Independent.

He has not seen the outside of the centre in over four years when he attended the christening of his now four-year-old son. The frustrated 29-year-old, who is a talented writer and artist, told the Cork Independent this week that he feels beaten.

"The energy has been bullied out of me."

No outlet for emotions
When this newspaper visited John with Grainne this week, the cramped visiting room was lonesome and heavy with loss. John is currently taking a cocktail of drugs, including anti-psychotics Solian and Clopixol, sleeping tablets, anti-anxiety tablets and Largactil, which have caused his teeth to rot, resuling in the loss of four so far.

"Sometimes he is yellow in the face from all the meds and he is now incontinent. He's completely over-medicated," Grainne said. He is heartbroken that he cannot spend time with his son. "Josh is his everything."

However, she said that when John expresses any pain, it is seen as a relapse in his condition. "He has no outlet for his emotions. It's not encouraged." While John's eyes were dulled with medication they still reach out for release. If it were not for his lively son Josh and the warmth of Grainne's embrace to her partner of over six years, the room would turn the healthiest mind towards melancholy.

"We have been forced to have our family relationship in this small room for four years now. This room is watched by CCTV and shared with other families. This cannot go on any longer."

Mental Health Act
John is being kept in care under the Mental Health Act 2001 as his consultant believes him to be a risk to the safety of his family. The Act gives power to a treating consultant psychiatrist over the freedom of the patient. However, Grainne explained that the severity of the diagnosis was based on a violent reaction that John had to forced treatment.

"He needs a different approach and one that allows him to deal with the emotional pain of his past. He has unreleased trauma from his childhood but there is no psychologist available to him at Carraig Mor.

"John is a victim of violence and not a perpetrator." According to Grainne, who works as a mental health advocate, she has already set up a number of supports for John. "John is not a danger to anyone.

"Neither his mother or I have a legal voice for John and no means to appeal. He's trapped there and I'm more afraid of the mental health system than I am of his condition. We want him to come home now - it's time."

Source: Psychiatric prisoner - Cork Independent News

The hospital John is in, Carraig Mor, was noted as failing in several significant areas in a recently released report. As but one example, there is no psychologist on staff or psychological treatments offered; patients have to share clothing; there is a lack of integrated care plans etc. That report can be viewed here: http://www.mhcirl.ie/Inspectorate_of_Mental_Health_Services/Approved_Centres_Inspection_Reports_2009/carraig_mor_report_2009.pdf


 
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This is very odd. I know from a family member who actually works as an Advocate for people with mental illnesses that the hardest thing to get for them is a place in a hospital for proper long term treatment.

However, I will take the word of this poster and sign the petition. There is something not right going on here.
 

spiritual_emergency

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Understanding the role of trauma in schizophrenia and psychosis...

Schizophrenia and PTSD Connection

The psychiatric establishment is about to experience an earthquake that will shake its intellectual foundations. When it has absorbed the juddering contents of the latest edition of one of its leading journals, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, it will have to rethink many of its most cherished assumptions. Not since the publication of RD Laing's book Sanity, Madness and the Family, in 1964, has there been such a significant challenge to their contention that genes are the main cause of schizophrenia and that drugs should be the automatic treatment of choice.

With his colleagues, guest editor John Read (whose name I shall use as a generic term for this body of evidence), a leading New Zealand psychologist, slays these sacred biological cows. The fact that some two-thirds of people diagnosed as schizophrenic have suffered physical or sexual abuse is shown to be a major, if not the major, cause of the illness. Proving the connection between the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, Read shows that many schizophrenic symptoms are directly caused by trauma.

The cornerstone of Read's tectonic plate-shifting evidence is the 40 studies that reveal childhood or adulthood sexual or physical abuse in the history of the majority of psychiatric patients. A review of 13 studies of schizophrenics found rates varying from 51% at the lowest to 97% at the highest.

Source: Oliver James: Drugs won't always work | Society | The Guardian

See also: Models of Madness - John Read


 

spiritual_emergency

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rockofcashel: Again SE, I have a huge amount of sympathy for John's plight. But if a professional, or I am sure a group of professionals are unable to make a decision regarding the safety of the general public from John, then is it in his or the general publics best interests that he leave Carraig Mór.

Hello rockofcashel:
I suppose these are some of the things that should be considered and/or attempted to be understood when giving due thought to this issue

- Who is John? Who is Grainne?
- What is John's history
- What are John's treatments? Are they helping or hindering?
- What is schizophrenia/psychosis?
- Can people recover from or be cured of schizophrenia?
- Are schizophrenics dangerous? Should the public fear them?
- What does recovery or rehabilitation look like?
- What will happen to John if he leaves the hospital? Will he still have a doctor? Will he still take medications? Will that be better for him or worse?

I'm here to share information and try to encourage others to sign that petition. By the time this thread is done, there won't be a person who took part in it who walks away without having learned something. However, also bear in mind that the doors of that hospital are not going to spring open simply because that petition hits some magical mark. There is not a one of us who gets to make that decision. That decision will be made by a professional, not by the lay public.

However, the petition is still very important because it brings attention to the plight of John and those who love him; it sheds an intimate light on what is happening within the Irish Mental Health System for people like John and their families, and hopefully, it will also introduce some ideas on what can be done to help people in severe crisis states -- ideally, as inexpensively as possible because it doesn't seem as if there's a lot of spare cash floating around somewhere just waiting to be put to good use.

Anyway, that's where I'm hoping to take the conversation but it might take me a while to get it there.



 

rockofcashel

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SE, could you please stop posting articles about Schizophrenia and address John's case. That is what you are asking us to support.

Why have the medical professionals chosen to advise on keeping John in Carriag Mór rather than return him to care in the community ?
 

spiritual_emergency

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rockofcashel, this is a complicated issue. That's why I'm posting the articles. Most people know very, very little about schizophrenia and its treatment. Without some background information it might be very easy to assume that John is getting the best treatment he, or anyone else could possibly get and for that reason, he should stay where he is. I firmly believe otherwise and my job -- if it could be called that -- is to put forth a convincing argument. I can't do that without some authoritative and verifiable resources.


 

spiritual_emergency

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Understanding the Commitment and Tribunal Process...

I've been taking part in some discussions elsewhere in regard to John. I wrote the following in response to one individual's response in that discussion -- they presumed that if John had been held for four years, that must speak to some grave danger on his part. I felt they misunderstood the process and sought to explain it to them.

Bear in mind, if John had committed a crime, he would be entitled to a trial prior to his incarceration. There would be a formal process he would have to undergo before a sentence was reached. In John's case however, not only has he not committed a crime, the incarceration process is fast-tracked. This is one of the areas where his human and legal rights have been grossly breached...

===========================================​

... you don't understand how Mental Health laws work. You see, all that needs to happen is that you show up at a hospital and you'd not be well. Your family or friends would have taken you there because you were doing some things that seemed odd or unusual. They'd have been worried and felt that the situation was more than they could deal with.

Then, in most jurisdictions, a doctor would admit you and a second doctor would note that he was in favor of it. And that's it. That's your judge and jury right there. You have now been committed and the state has taken on the legality of your existence. If you were married, your spouse will likely have no legal say in what happens after that. If you are an adult, your parents and siblings will have no legal say either.

From that point forward, your "detainment" can be renewed, usually in increments of months or years -- the specifics depend on the laws of the geographical region. In a well-balanced system -- a fair and just system -- there is an appeal process that you can initiate so as to challenge your incarceration or medical treatment. It can be frightening and intimidating and you'll probably want your loved ones there to offer strength and support.

It's also probably best if you hire a lawyer to help guide you through the intricacies because you're not a lawyer and you're frightened by the power these people have to determine what happens to your entire life -- like how often you can see your children, your partner, your friends -- everything that gives your life some measure of joy, purpose or meaning. They can take it all away and they know more than you do, so you really want a lawyer that will be on your side, fighting for you. The hospital may also have their own lawyer present but there will be no judge or jury of your peers.

In John's case, the mental health laws pertaining to the tribunal process do not allow the patient to initiate a review of their case. As a result, he's dependent upon a scheduled review process. Also in John's case, because he has been hospitalized for four years, he has no earnings he can draw on to hire a lawyer to help guide him through that process. The hospital will assign him one but it's probably the same lawyer they always use -- the one who joins the docs for a drink when it's all done.

John has never been permitted to have family members with him during his tribunals. He has never had emotional support. He's never had independent legal support. He's also been cut off from the world. He doesn't have a legal library he can access or medical articles he can study to help prepare himself. Even if he did, he's in such a heavily drugged state, he cannot speak in his own defense because that's what heavy sedation with neuroleptic drugs do -- they reduce and shut down brain function.

This is why so many people report feeling like zombies -- they can't think, they can't walk, they can't dress themselves. They might also twitch and drool and stare vacantly and urinate on themselves because these can all be side-effects of the medications, particularly, heavy medication. Naturally, all of this adds up to look like one very crazy person sitting on the other side of the table who only whispers -- because he knows he has absolutely no power in that situation -- that he just wants to go home.

But the doctors decide he's still so unwell and he doesn't seem to have improved -- he doesn't socialize, he doesn't get excited about life anymore. He just sits there and watches television or sleeps. They say, "No". They do have absolute power to make that decision. They have the power to keep you there, month after month until you die.

Then your trial is over until the next time when they will bring you in, every bit as drugged and helpless as the last time and six months or a year or three years later, you will quietly beg again... "I just want to go home."


===========================================​

That's how someone can end up incarcerated against their will for four years without having committed a crime.


 

rockofcashel

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rockofcashel, this is a complicated issue. That's why I'm posting the articles. Most people know very, very little about schizophrenia and its treatment. Without some background information it might be very easy to assume that John is getting the best treatment he, or anyone else could possibly get and for that reason, he should stay where he is. I firmly believe otherwise and my job -- if it could be called that -- is to put forth a convincing argument. I can't do that without some authoritative and verifiable resources.


I understand what you are trying to do, and believe me, you have my huge sympathy. But I also have a certain degree of knowledge about the subject, and the problem here, is that the manifestation of mental illness is different from patient to patient.

So, while you can post generic articles about cause, effect, manifestation or treatment of schizophrenia, we are unable to know what effect it is either having on John, or what effect John's illness is having on the trained medical professionals who have made the decision to deny John day release.

Unless we knew the case history it would be wrong of us to make a decision on calling for his release from Carriag Mór (and very sorry if that makes it sound like a custodial sentence he is undergoing)

Why is John being kept in, and, if he was allowed out, could you, or his family, or whoever took custody or guardianship or care of John, give a reasonable guarantee that he would not be a danger to himself or others ?
 


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