SHAMEFUL! Paul Abbott’s verdict on mental health provision and Karen’s sacking


‘Shameless’ writer, Paul Abbott has written the following letter of support to Karen Reissmann

Dear Karen

So sorry I can’t be with you at the rally in your support, but sadly, I’m committed to appointments abroad.

I hope you already know how much admiration I have for you and your colleagues now striking in defence of your outspoken feelings about the alarming state of mental health services in Manchester, which for years we all know, were woefully underfunded in the first place – nevermind the sheer madness of cutbacks.

They could wave as many spreadsheets as they want to justify the economics of this…but what’s betting the number-crunching won’t include the damage to Britain’s economy from the needless suffering of
undiagnosed mental illness in our citizens, which, if treated earlier, and professionally, can prevent the pointlessly heartbreaking destruction of people and their families.

Prescription charges for anti-depressants alone cost £36m a year. Add to this the national loss of work hours, and the vast expenditure on long-term disability from welfare support…and tell me there’s a single atom of sense in their arithmetic to justify the economics of this. There isn’t. Never could be.

At 15, I was sectioned for my own protection following a suicide attempt. Back then, I experienced the privilege of help and support from nurses amongst other mental health practitioners to see me patiently
through that crisis. Without them, I wouldn’t be alive today.

The thought of ever going back to that jet-black underworld still haunts me constantly. But if I had no choice….surely in all decency I’d deserve MORE specialist nurses like Karen Reissmann to HELP me break my fall…NOT half the number doing their work on a fraction of the funding spent 30 years ago.

We pay the Health Trust salaries – we, the shareholders. In effect, we subsidise their families. Can we get a pledge that Shelia Foley and her teams at Manchester Mental Health Trust team will be held accountable for the catastrophic consequences of their negligence?

Using crass free-market economics on public-funded mental health services, is honestly far more deluded than I was the day they sectioned me. If Manchester Mental Health Trust aren’t up to basic adding and
subtracting, it’s time we had THEIR jobs… not Karen Reissmann’s.

21 NOVEMBER 2007.

For more information contact Karen Reissmann, branch chair, 07972 120 451
Andy Gill, Unison regional officer 0161 211 1000
Caroline Bedale, branch secretary, 07931 152 001


1 Comment

Filed under Free speech, Shameful

One response to “SHAMEFUL! Paul Abbott’s verdict on mental health provision and Karen’s sacking

  1. Mark Krantz

    I read Paul’s letter aloud, and it made me cry. Shameless made be laugh. Foley makes me angry. Karen and the strikers are an inspiration.

    Their victory will make people ‘better’ across the city.
    Solidarity will win.

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