EleMental: “lingerers rather than recoverer’s” and scrounger rhetoric aimed at mental health community.#ukmh #mhuk #whatstigma

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“We are so tired of people with mental health problems and emotional distress – a transient experience (unless they become  “lingerers rather than recoverers” referred to by Ted Dumas- and stuck in cycles of dependency) jumping on the disabled bandwagon. In what way are you disabled? Cant work? Or won’t work? Frightened you might be missing out on some of the financial benefits awarded to the genuinely deserving disabled? There is something rather sad in this alliance, and one which our disabled friends abhor as much as EleMentalists do. If you would like help reclaiming your life come to us or we can get you help. Our colleagues are genuinely striving to recover and thrive and the elements of recovery and thriving are well documented. Admittedly some of the issues within both movements are similar – stigma, misconceptions etc. but it is disingenuous to equate mental distress and disability.”

Comments are now restricted on this post following the use of the ‘full’ name of someone deceased. I find that this extremely inappropriate since the person’s name has been used in speculative comments which are distressing to any family/friends of the named deceased and to their memory.  19/03/2012 Dawn

22 thoughts on “EleMental: “lingerers rather than recoverer’s” and scrounger rhetoric aimed at mental health community.#ukmh #mhuk #whatstigma

    Dawn Willis responded:
    March 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Dear All,

    Having noticed a comment appear here which gives the ‘full name’ of an individual who apparently tragically took their own life some years back I have decided to ‘restrict’ comments on this post.

    I’m never keen on moderating posts, and I prefer to allow people to be able to openly discuss issues, however this particular posting appears to have detracted considerably from my original post and into something ‘considerably’ different, and since the name of someone deceased, ” Penny Crawley”, has been used, I have chosen to ‘block’ further comments out of respect for this individuals memory, and the feelings of any relations or friends who may be distressed.

    I am happy to discuss this decision with you. I can be contacted by email: quinonostante@hotmail.com

    With respect


    Lynn Harrison said:
    March 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Also, Marion, I would be interested to know your views on the social model of disability and how people with mental health diagnoses are not disabled as per this definition? And why you choose to see people with long term mh conditions as ‘lingerers rather than recovers’? How do you define this? How do you define
    ‘recovery’? How is your definition evidenced? Are you in f/t employment? Have you ‘recovered? Who are the ‘genuinely deserving disabled?’ is everyone with a mh diagnosis excluded and therefore those who are currently claiming benefits are not ‘genuine’?

      Lynn Harrison said:
      March 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      I notice that your organisation offers crisis accommodation.. is this free?? Are you saying that people with mental health diagnoses who are claiming benefits are not welcomed by Elemental as they are fake ‘lingerers’? What do you say to people who have experienced mental distress for years whether working or not? What criteria do you use to determine whether someone is recovered by your definition?

        Lynn Harrison said:
        March 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm

        Do you think that people with long term mental distress or who have relapses are just not trying hard enough? Have you had relapses? If so, are you a ‘lingerer’?

    Paul Davidson said:
    March 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    ‘WOW’ A possitive ‘Double whammy of inspiration’.

    When others think recovery. I think get as well as I possibly can. and cope as best I can with my various health issues.
    For sure bad housing situation’s can cause serious problem’s I have much evidence to support this. if this was widely used as an example of how bad housing can utterly destray a person’s life. well even though not in work I could have a very big possitive inpact on the way statutory service provider’s SHOULD AND COULD DO THING’S MUCH MUCH BETTER).

    I have no doubt by being accepted in to a ‘Mind Drop in Centre in 2000 they saved my life gave it meaning and direction. I met others with health issues and got to know their similer poor experiences with providers and the way the general public percieve those of us with health issues.

    I was compelled and inspired by the many agood person I met within the Mental Health Community. I’m still inspired to help make a difference. but to do so I as alway’s need a safe environment in which to do so. where my mind can explore what is within it. and find peace out of my own adversity. but I still have very major barriers in my way. not of my own doing. Professionals and public alike have this notion that someone in distress and ore living with Mental Illness dont try to help themself and think only of neggativity. When I complain about services and very bad at that It’s all my fault it’s all in the mind’.

    Just last year when I pleaded for any kind of support. ‘NOW LOOK YOU MUST GET THESE THOUGHT’S OUT OF YOUR MIND’) This repeated by me just mentioning family from hell next door. Sadly I fled out of the fire and in to the frying pan. I’m trapped here waiting for my provider to move me and it’s there choice when and where and it’s ‘THEIR FAULT AND THERE’S ONLY THAT I’M IN THIS SHOCKINGLY BAD SITUATION. The denial is only in their mind’s).

    ‘PEACE’ .

    Loco Lanc said:
    March 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Company No. 07498163…..marionaslan@aol.com……..

    O Dear now i feel you may commnet to this person,as inperson,all though was not long back Elemental was useing words such as “Emotional Distress” do people not get this its all about helping people like the comment above people do recover and some are not ready…..to but it does not mean they have to be put in a box becasue of this…………

      Lynn Harrison said:
      March 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

      The term ‘recovery’ seems to have been much manipulated over many years and in common with the apparent language of .. well… almost ‘hate’ promoted by Elemental, which seems to have more in common with current tabloid rhetoric expousing the tories’ policies towards benefits claimants by villifying the supposed disengenous sick and disabled as ‘benefit scroungers’, recovery appears to mean for both many statutory mental health services (still rooted in the medical model) and for Elemental, being symptom free and no longer in need of support. This is a bit odd to say te least for an organisation which states it opposes the medical model and pupports to focus on peer support.
      I agree that this language is very dangerous. I remember several years ago, one of the founders of Elemental went to see someone whose distress had returned with a bang after they had returned from spending a year at a Crisis Recovery Unit and had really started to find genuine hope for the future but then came back to her home area and struggled with a lack of support from services with fundamental issues such as poor housing, benefits and having to travel for 3 hours each week by train on her own to the CRU and struggled to cope with relationships and life back in the community generally. They became very unwell and plagued by voices urging suicide and hoped that the founder, who they had previously trusted a great deal, would offer some valued peer support. Sadly, this was not the case and even though this persn was so unwell and despairing and in hospital, the Elemental founder told them to ‘pull themselves together’. This had a devastating effect and felt like yet another rejection and a couple of weeks later they passed away.
      The members of a group founded as a recovery group in South Warwickshire who I was fortunate to work with for over 3 years and many of whom remain friends, determined that they rejected the notion of recovery, as it was then being used by statutory services, in favour of that of Wellness, and, similarly to the concept of the social model of disability, which sees people not as having inherant ‘disabilities’ but as being Dis-abled by barriers, stigma, attitudes etc prevalent in society. They decided that those of us who experience mental distress should advocate for meaningful and real social inclusion and that we should have the same right to equality in terms of our aspirations in life irrespective of whether people continued to experience distress, use services, or not. Also, that people have much to contribute to society whether they are able to enter into paid work or not, and, peer support should essentially support people in a non-judgemental way which focusses on humanity and genuine warm regard for individuals.

        Dawn Willis responded:
        March 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

        Recovery or Discovery? I really had nothing to recover to , and more to discover about myself…

        Marion Aslan said:
        March 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        Well, Ms Harrison
        your views on my role in Penny Crawley’s suicide many years ago whilst living with you in your home are interesting. Neither myself or my colleagues had seen or heard from Penny since she went to live in Brighton and certainly did not have any contact with her. We heard she was back living with you and I’m sorry you see fit to continue cyber harassment based seemingly on your own inability to forgive Penny or yourself for her suicide. I read in the local paper that at the time you blamed Coventry Mental Health Services for her death, then The Jesus Army. I’m at a loss as to why just a year ago you began to wage this hate campaign against myself and other people suggesting we played a part in Penny’s death. I repeat I did not see or speak to her and anyone who knows me would tell you the words “pull yourself together” are absolutely not in my vocabulary! Penny was a dear friend but had moved to a new life in Brighton where I was told by mutual friends that she was happy and that it was you who convinced her to return to Coventry for some reason. What went on for Penny to feel suicidal in your care I don’t know.
        As you know following a visit to your ex- boss there is legal action pending against you which I have warned you about and asked you to cease and desist. As you seem to be intent on continuing this ridiculous saga and are now weaving other people via Facebook and websites into your disordered thinking, slander and defamation I have no option but to continue with the action and also inform the police. Perhaps you would kindly furnish me with your address – all venomous email has so far been posted via a public forum and my solicitor and I really don’t feel this is the place to continue this discussion.

        Dawn Willis responded:
        March 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

        Ms Aslan

        It’s correct that you should respond to something which you feel is incorrect, and I agree that any alleged personal grievances exist between yourself and Ms Harrison should not be aired on a public forum.

        Let me clarify one thing for you – my post was made purely because of what I felt were crass, ill informed and to a point cruel remarks on your website where you hint at people who may have a diagnosis of mental illness as “lingerers rather than recoverer’s” and then go on to suggest they may be work-shy.

        At a time where people open newspapers, and see television reports almost daily which imply they do not deserve welfare benefits at a time when they are unable to work due to ill health your statement is all the more shocking, and to imply people are in it for the ‘benefits’ is sickening.

        Recovery? Peer Support? Not really – not inclusive, nor fair, and as you can see from a couple of comments you have merely compounded distress for some people.

        Dawn Willis

        Lynn Harrison said:
        March 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        Marion, you know that’s not true, you and I know the truth of what happened, you have chosen to mention Penny, I have only written what she told me. Yes, she was living with me even though she was on a section as, and you know how mh services worked in that area at the time, she was absconding and suicidal. In fact, I cared about Penny a great deal and she knew this and worked with her consultant who she had a lot of faith in, to support her. The independent review carried out into mh services after her death made 53 recommendations for change which came from service users, carers and staff at all levels, which I’m sure you are aware of. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel there was something more I could have done, after her death I spent 6 months in hospital, The Jesus Army took responsibility and acknowledged that if they had known how to they would have done more. You didn’t even attend her thanksgiving service. She was not living in Brighton and as I left messages for you both directly and through others, I’m sure you know she wanted to contact you, otherwise how did you know she was in hospital and why did you visit her?
        If there is any legal action then it is in your hands as it is not coming from my former employers which you are aware of.
        You have chosen to publicly quote from a secret support site on your site yet as people who have been upset by this have noted, there is no opportunity to comment on your site. Please leave me alone and stop raking all of this up, Penny died in 2001, we last had contact in 2009, what it the point in this? If you express opinions which people find offensive then they have the right to respond.

        Eleni said:
        March 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

        Hi Marion

        I don’t know you, have never met you, but I was pretty shocked to read some of the comments on your website. Moreover, these comments were made on a page of your website entitled “human rights”. To me, human rights include treating people with respect and I don’t believe that the tone or language that your organisation has used on this page has done this.

        I also don’t understand the reasoning used. Take myself, I have experienced mental health distress for as long as I can remember – that’s 40 years at least now – certainly not a “transient experience” as you describe it.

        Second, I identify as having a disability. However, you claim I am “jumping on the bandwagon” by identifying in this way. This I find to be particularly strange, because your home page very clearly states that individuals are “the expert of their own experiences” but apparently you believe I am identifying myself in a wrong way!

        Finally, your comments about “lingerers” and people with mh difficulties refusing to work in order to claim benefits are just plain offensive. I have worked for most of my adult life but still I identify as disabled and have chronic mh difficulties. Your words simply don’t add up…

        I would welcome your comments.


    Paul Davidson said:
    March 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Let me please give you all cyber ‘HUGS’

    I like to think we are all special and unique as unique as our own Genetic make up. and then there is the unique life experiences we all live with again unique to one’s self.

    Trauma’s and other health issues physical and Off the mind have their own unique affect on the individual I know this as I’m one of those individual’s.

    I have to say I have pleaded for help from health professional’s to try and cope with my health issues for numerous years. I have been subjected to much rejection while pleading for help. If only the general public realised just how bad services can be to for some individual’s who ask forhelp and they have to fight for years for intevention.

    And when it come’s to helping those in emotional trauma One thing is for sure in my mind when some of the multiple trauma consist’s of ON GOING ABUSES AND GROSS DELIBERATE NEGLEGENCE AND COVER UP’S (YES A CONSPIRACY THEARY). UNTILL THE VICTIM IS SAVED FROM THEIR ABUSERS IT’S POINTLESS HAVING THERAPY WHILE ABUSES AND SUCH NEGLECT ARE CONTINUING.

    In short I need protecting from my abusers. and yet those who should be doing the protecting are a major part of the problem.


    I have publicly advocated for altrnative theraputic intevention. and wholy support it I have spoke in the media HOW SEROXAT DID NOT WORK FOR ME MADE ME VERY SUICIDAL ACTUALLY. #

    I cry out for better services for all. not just within the N.H.S. As they have let me down so incredibly badly.

    Massage therapy to heal my very real injuries and gently healing my mind at the same time I spend a fortune on it and it’s worth every penny. A music and light therapy room along with massage in a safe friendly environment would work wonders for this individual. if this was accessible in an individuals home the more the better.

    Although we are uneque it’s so obvious to me we all can have similer raction’s and symptom’s etc of various illnesses. and this helps us better understand what is going on in our own body and mind.

    Needless to say these are my thought’s on it all and mMY OWN PERSONAL IEWPOINT NEVER EVER IMPOSED ON ANYONE ELSE.



    Lynn Harrison said:
    March 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Just wanted to offer some cyber hugs to Paul xxx

    Paul Davidson said:
    March 14, 2012 at 12:35 am

    A bit of a problem with the last post Dawni. hope you all got the message though.


    Paul Davidson said:
    March 14, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Hello Dawni all here. For once I wish I had not clicked on you link Dawni to read such SHOCKING WORD’S. I’m now very scare very very scared.

    I had just watched Newsnight while in distress and trying now to tell everyone on facebook how traumatised I a’m and continue my three year’s of crying for ‘JUSTICE’ You yourself Dawni have been so incredibly tollerent of my desperate and somewhat controvercial post’s.

    So I watch the back end of Newsnight. I hear a person talk of the Phone hacking enquiry. yet again. she rightly say’s ‘VICTIMS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TELL THEIR STORY (TELL THEIR STORY AND THE EMOTIONAL AFFECT BEHIND IT). People I cant dare express here how painful it was for me to listen to this. as I sat so so so desperately needing to cry out to the whole world (Someone help, please help). And I really mean please someone help.

    When people talk of ‘RECOVERY’ They assume you haveat some stage been ‘WELL’ Not so this mind and body. ‘NOT EVER’).

    I checked the website out and when I read the ‘MAD AID BIT. MY HEART SUNK TO NEW LOW’S.

    I sure need help I sure need a place of safety to get away from it all. again SOMEONE HELP, PLEASE HELP’). But there is no help here for me no support as I cry out I’m being abused and grossly neglected. my carpet’s have been rolled up for almost five week’s now my belonging’s are boxed and bagged up and piled high. waiting for a so called urgent house move as to not endanger myself ore others. just a week gone friday the police came to my house as a third party said I was ‘acting strange’ and they had a duty of care to help me. they claimed they knew people who could help me they insisted they did. Well once I told they who the problem was THEY SAID OH SO THEY ARE THE PROBLEM. I’m still waiting for the mysterious people who can help me.

    Just a reminder Dawni/People here I speak very openly about my issues in the hope for better services and if we dont speak out publicly of the injustices and bad services that sure are harming me on a daily basis just how can we fix thing’s for the better ? whether I’m on med’s ore not I cant ever get well while so much injutice is directed at me and I’m unable to defend myself while being put in so unbearable emotional pain.

    You cant feel someones own pain but you can share your experiences). And no one has the right to tell me I have to just thrive and forget my distress. it’s Oh so very real and permanent. it’s not a life style choice it has nothing to do with how much money I may have ore not. it’s about very real traumatic event’s in my life and not getting help ore support that I have so very often pleaded for and have been so denied and rejected so many times.

    Just who can I trust now on facebook after reading such dangerous and malicious writing’s ?



      Dawn Willis responded:
      March 14, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Sorry Paul, I think I should have posted a ‘warning’ at the top of that post.

      It’s probably cold comfort, but I can tell you that others have been deeply upset by this website and it’s rhetoric.

      It’s what is inside of YOU which counts, and ‘worth’ is not measured by how much you ear, or how you deal with illness, but upon your humanity and how you treat other people.

      Thus you are worth a million of these other folk.

    nancy said:
    March 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    It’s shocking what they say, yes it’s true many people do recover from mental illness, and good for them. But not everyone can, if I could believe me I would I hate living like this it’s ruined my life. Can’t believe people who’ve obviously suffered themselves can be so cold.

    nancy said:
    March 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    They actually say “They are wise enough to realise they earn a good wage for their madness, so the concepts of recovery and thriving can upset them because of the potential loss of earnings.” Do they really think I get as many benefits as someone with a physical disability?! They barely give me enough to live!

      Dawn Willis responded:
      March 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      “lingerers rather than recoverers” – is the kind of dangerous use of language which could trigger someone who is currently unwell, it’s also pretty damn discriminatory in the context in which the quote is used.

    nancy said:
    March 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    There’s nowhere to comment! How dare they write something like that and not leave anywhere to comment!

      Dawn Willis responded:
      March 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      It’s disappointing and stigmatising. People who have a diagnosis of a mental illness and who may currently be in distress are now finding themselves facing ‘scrounger’ rhetoric from others within the mental health community. They talk ‘peer support’, but this is segregation.

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