Response 15382410

Back to Response listing

About You

1. What is your name?

Jean Giusti

3. Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

Please select one item
Ticked Individual

5. The Scottish Government would like your permission to publish your consultation response. Please indicate your publishing preference:

Please select one item
Ticked Publish response with name
Publish response only (anonymous)
Do not publish response


1. Our framework sets out 8 priorities for a new Mental Health Strategy that we think will transform mental health in Scotland over 10 years. Are these the most important priorities?

Please select one item
Ticked No
Don't know
If no, what priorities do you think will deliver this transformation?
A further priority is that Clozapine is prescribed when there are other remedies available such as atypical anti-psychotics. It does appear the Clozapine is being used for the purpose of expendiency and cost-effectiveness. Our Redacted text was being coerced into taking this medication when Redacted text was not fully informed of the potentially deadly and disabilitating side-effects such as death, enlargment of the heart muscle, seizures and involuntary movement which do not always disappear if the patient is taken off this drug. Our Redacted text could have been placed back on Olanzapine (Redacted text came off it due to weight increase) or to Risperdone (by daily tablet) as Redacted text had a sever reaction to depot. After refusing Clozapine, Redacted text has now been placed on a new atypical anti-psychotic and which is working well. There was no need, whatsoever, except for convenience and expediency for Redacted text to have been earmarked for Clozapine when there are many remedies available which do not have the possibility of terrible side-effects which require a weekly blood test. Furthermore, as Redacted text does not like having his blood taken, it is doubtful that Redacted text would have had these blood tests done and no one would force Redacted text to have them when out in the community. Redacted text is meant to have a blood test each year but this does not happen on a regular basis. What is being proposed is a early intervention service and which is so very necessary as, currently, those suffering a relapse are being allowed to become much worse until a critical level is reached and where they are then admitted to hospital in a much poorer condition than would have been the case if the illness was treated at an earlier stage. Many patients are then being prescibed Clozapine which just should not happen. Should someone with a severe mental illness need assistance at weekends, there is no one available in Stranraer and even GPs will not come out. It is left to the police to deal with the problem and which they have said should not be the case. Distress intervention is being implemented which can only be for the good of not only the person with the mental illness, but also their families, wider society and the long term cost of hospitalisation of a person who has reached crisis level.

2. The table in Annex A sets out a number of early actions that we think will support improvements for mental health.

Are there any other actions that you think we need to take to improve mental health in Scotland?
I do believe that there should be more beds available. At one time, the Crichton hospital had around 100 beds which has been reduced to less than half. This, at a time when mental illness is on the increase due to (in addition to genetic reasons) a variety of social and environmental factors. An admission ward would be a good idea as it keeps those who are at crisis level apart from those who are recovering in the main ward. There could also be a ward for those who are about to leave the hospital. This, instead of lumping all patients together and which isn't easy for the patients themselves or for those who are caring for them.

3. The table in Annex A sets out some of the results we expect to see.

What do you want mental health services in Scotland to look like in 10 years' time?
You are introducing better access to cognitive therapies and which can only be for the good. Also, better access to counselling. There could be easier 'phone access to consultant psychiatrists for those with a mental illness, when out in the community, and also for family members who are concerned when their relative becomes very unwell, than at present, although it is accepted that they (consultants) have a limited amount of time available. I would hope that Clozapine is banned entirely as being too dangerous and risky for any patient. That even better treatments are available which do not pose such potential health risks. That patients come first and that those who do not respond too well to 3 or 4 types of anti-psychotic during their life-times (which happens often) are not just placed on the 'last resort' of Clozapine. I would like to see more openess in the treatment of mental illness and for the general public to be made more aware of how those with a mental illness are being treated and with what medications. It would be beneficial for all stigma associated with mental illness to be at the very minimum with far more education provided via media coverage as mental illness can strike at anyone's family and it must be the very worst illness to have as it places victims in the most vulnerable class in society alongside the very young and the elderly.