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Monday, 11 July 2011

Donations, publicity & early findings from my research

Hi everyone,

While I am eagerly waiting for the hospital to file their 'particulars of defence' (their official response to my complaint), various other exciting things have been happening.

Legal fund donations
I've received the first donation towards my legal fund - a very generous $100 from Carol. Thank you Carol - your support is helpng all consumers to defend our rights.
Visit my How to Help page if you'd like to make a donation (nothing is too small!).

Article published in 'Our Consumer Place' Newsletter
Our Consumer Place, a fantastic online resource for mental health consumers, has published my new article about how smoking bans hurt consumers. In the article I talk about how the smoking bans affected me last year, as well as reviewing many of the broader issues.

Early research results
I am continuing to get people to complete my research surveys, and so far the feedback overwhelmingly supports my case. Some early research results:

100% reported an increase in mental health symptoms in response to the bans
60% were 'punished' by hospital staff when trying to smoke
60% were not offered any information or counselling about quitting while in hospital
80% were not offered any information or support about quitting on discharge
40% smoked in risky situations while in hospital
60% conducted 'illegal trade' for ciagerettes while in hospital - including trading money, favours, possessions, food and sex.
40% were threatened/intimidated for cigarettes while in hospital
20% saw other patients get assaulted over cigarettes
80% lied to their doctors to get an early discharge because of the bans
80% are now less likely to voluntarily go to hospital because of the bans
100% did not quit smoking successfully

While these are only interim results, they are shocking indictment on the mental health services who continue to enforce these bans.

They show that hospitals continue to enforce a policy which has no positve health benefits, but which does put patients at risk of harm, reduces our quality of mental health care, limits our access to services, and creates mistrust and ill will. To add insult to injury, the bans are being poorly implemented, with little to no information, counselling or discharge support and inappropriate punishment of consumers who contravene the policy.

The campaign continues...

"Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes!"


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