Monday, 29 September 2014

An expert by experience shares her story about sedatives and use of restraint.


I can only answer this from a carers point of view. I understand that in some cases when a person is so distressed that they are on the verge of harming themselves or someone else, they need to be stopped. At the moment restraint as a last resort may need to be used. But some research should be happening to find a better way. Restraining someone is barbaric.

When people are already badly distressed and in fear, this method just adds to it. It should only be used as a last resort, and not just because someone has come into hospital under section three of the mental health act in an agitated and distressed state.

My son was never a threat to other people, only to himself, he was always respectful to the police and doctors even when in the midst of psychosis, and terrified of everyone. Yet when taken in hospital by the police he was restrained and given an injection, and if they had taken time to talk to him I know he would have complied.

When he really needed help because he was a threat to himself, and already tried by cutting his own throat and told the doctor "he was really scared and didn't want to die", they took no notice. I asked if they could give him something to calm the voices and help him get some sleep, they said not until bed time and they did nothing.

After I left him he walked out and found a building where he jumped to his death. They didn't restrain him, in fact they didn't do anything, not even keep him safe.

Restraining someone is not the answer,

There has to be a better way, where are the crisis action plans? Where are the Recovery Centres? A place both carers and service users can learn about the best way to approach and deal with a crisis before it escalates.

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