Meet the Storyteller – Fiona Anderson

In this update we meet Fiona Anderson who will be one of the storytellers presenting at our event Consent & Refusal: Mental Health, Human Rights and the Law on the 11th of January with her respondent Bo Chen.


calendar-660670_1280My name is Fiona Anderson.

I am from Ireland/Australia.

I speak English and a smattering of Irish.

My 7 word autobiography is: Crusader striving for justice to be served.

I have experience of researching, writing and speaking on mental health disorders and have written a minor dissertation. My focus of study is centered on medical and mental health issues.                                                                                                                             

I want to share a story about my legal capacity to consent to medical and mental health treatments and the consequences arising from mismanaged therapies. I have a broad-ranging medical syndrome in combination with a mental health disorder.                  

I joined the VOICES Project because it is important that through my story it will hopefully save other people from going through the same type of prejudiced, biased, stereotypical and discriminatory medical services afforded to mental health service users which occurs on a worldwide basis. I am focusing on my legal capacity to consent to medical treatments within the psychiatric and medical sectors and how it has infringed on the treatment I have received and the adverse affects and consequences arising from mismanaged therapies so that a similar situation does not recur in the future to other people with a mental health disorder. It is also an avenue to bring closure to these difficult parts of my medical/physical and mental health disorder treatments and seeking the five principles of recognition, acknowledgment, responsibility, accountability and an apology which I know will be difficult to achieve.  My story is not all negative and there have been some positive results such as a Lithium Policy and a formal Consent Form arising within the mental health services stemming from experiences like mine and, although late in the day, it will reduce the incidence of adverse consequences from Lithium Therapy. I hope by telling my story that I will not just be heard but actively listened to.

What was your favourite part of the first workshop?

My favourite part of the first workshop was listening to all the experiences that other people have been through and that I am not alone and isolated and enjoying the opportunity to meet with all the other persons participating in the project as story-tellers and respondents. A lot of what I heard really hit the nail on the head for me.

What are you hoping to learn from the project?

What am I hoping to learn from the project that it will have a successful and positive impact on the medical and psychiatric services rendered to all people with a disability and that particularly that Articles 8, 12 and 25 of the CRPD are implemented not just in Ireland but everywhere so that persons with co-morbidity illnesses in tandem with a diagnosed disability of any type receive equal parity in treatment within the medical and psychiatric sectors and a holistic approach and not a fragmented and segregated system that currently exists. I believe those with a disability are the supreme authorities through experience and I hope that medical and psychiatric service providers will learn from the project too and that experience is a valuable tool as formal learning, knowledge, theories and therapies.

 

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