Tonight I signed up to write a blog about mental health (or, rather, “distress”). I wanted to write about how those of us who provide services to distressed (and, in my world, violent) people provide those services stupidly. I signed up after years of working for a large mental health Trust and my growing sense of despair about the lack of a public narrative which links distress with social context and the fact that our stupid services are largely irrelevant and work badly.
Anyway, it turns out that -surprisingly – I had started a blog two years ago and I never published my first post. It’s just been restored for me and my younger self has sprung into life. It turns out that, two years ago, I was bothered about…”envy and threats, bewilderment and a gradual sense that, if you’re a reasonably bright woman who has a vision or just some good ideas and who leads people well and with compassion….you can’t really be allowed to exist”. Two years ago I believed that “feelings of pride and pleasure and achievement (of feeling on top of the world) can only last if you work at it yourself because most people won’t feel happy for you”.
It strikes me now that these are good and relevant things to be bothered about so this blog is about people whose distress makes them frightening and it’s about how – because we are frightened – we provide stupid, mindless services. It’s about how our anxiety makes us brutal, neglectful and dumb.
And it’s also about being a woman in a position of leadership and about noticing the subtle stuff (from other people and ourselves) which probably stops us from leading wiser, better services.
Thanks for reading!