Protest against proposed psychiatric unit

February 04, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Birmingham has been actively campaigning against the unit since September last year when announcements were first made regarding the public consultations taking place. Now it is taking its protest to the streets.

The protest will take place at 1pm outside of Bartholemew House (location to be confirmed) on Thursday February 9. The protest, organised by CCHR Birmingham and Bordesley Green Councillor Shafiq Shah, aims to bring attention to the very real concerns residents have regarding the proposed site.

In August 2004,mental health and social services in Birmingham were condemned for a catalogue of failings and a call was made for a radical overhaul of mental health facilities in light of the cases of Ogilpis Hamilton and Abdul Rehman. Hamilton admitted manslaughter while under the care of the former North Birmingham Mental Health Trust. Rehman also admitted manslaughter while under the care of Newbridge House psychiatric unit. Rehman was on leave from the unit at the time of the killing.

Local residents have been vocal in expressing their feelings at recent public meetings regarding the proposals, and are concerned for the safety of residents should the plans go ahead in light of previous failings.

CCHR, which was established by the Church of Scientology in 1969, has been investigating psychiatric violations of human rights for 36 years. Its concerns have focused on the senseless violence associated with the psychiatric treatments themselves, and have been backing up the local residents at the public meetings.

Councillor Shah said, “CCHR have been present at all the public meetings and working with the residents. They have been very supportive, active, and are playing a vital role in the campaign, listening to and caring for local residents.”

Chris Wrapson, spokesperson for CCHR Birmingham, said: “Psychiatry’s lack of real results is a cause for great concern. Instead of actually investigating and handling the root cause of a person’s problems, the trend is to label individuals with un-proven, un-scientific “mental illnesses” which invariably have no single identifiable physical symptom, and incarcerate these people in prison-like units where any manner of inhumane “treatments” can be employed. There is evidence that such “treatments” can cause the violence and aggression and this is one of the main reasons for the opposition to the proposed building of the unit.”

Anyone with information on psychiatric abuses, is asked to contact CCHR’s Abuse Line on 0845 260 CCHR (2247). All confidence will be protected.

CCHR (Birmingham)
PO BOX 13169
B21 1BP