Less is More – Discussing the Harm Minimisation Policy that @TEWV don’t want you to see anymore. Including some spoken word poetry.

As many of my followers will already be aware, the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) Mental Health Trust have taken down their abusive Harm Minimisation policy for children and young people with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and related conditions. This policy was taken down in July. They claim that they had to do this due to a patient safety alert. This alert was issued in March, and it only refers to issues surrounding ligature access points. It is not enough justification to withdraw the entire harm Minimisation Policy from the public, however this is something they are hoping to get away with. They claim there is a concern that a patient could harm themselves if they were to view this policy in the public domain.

I would like to suggest that their real reason for taking the policy down was due to the mounting negative attention it was receiving on Twitter, from service users, carers and MH professionals alike. Below are the screenshots I have from the policy, highlighting particular parts of it that I was the most disgusted or shocked by. I’d like to remind everyone that this policy was written about the treatment of children. It was based on the protocol for adults, written by Malcolm Bass. Both children and adults have been treated appallingly due to this policy.

Many people have approached TEWV about this matter, but they are refusing to budge. They will not release their harm minimisation policy. Here are the authors responsible for writing the above policy. They are so confident about it that they were also proudly providing training to NHS and Social Services, based on this policy. This isn’t just about some dodgy wording. This is about a culture so deeply ingrained within their service that they cannot even accept that what they are doing is wrong. And that people are dying because of it.

They are claiming that a “new” policy has been written, but it is hard to see how they could have made the systemic changes needed to go along with such a change in policy. It is also even more difficult to see what changes (if any) have been made when they won’t release the new protocol. I have written some spoken word poetry about this policy. I have performed it anonymously in a video and the lyrics are written underneath. I’m not the best at performing my work out loud, but I hope the lyrics will help to convey the points I’m trying to make. I felt like this all needed to be in one place because it was at risk of being lost in too many separate twitter threads. Thanks for reading/listening if you have.

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

I’m gonna pick your policy apart
And I’m gonna do it by making my own kind of art.
It doesn’t matter that you took the policy down,
Why try to hide it?
You’re telling children not to invest entirely
in the hope that you can take their pain away.
Would you treat your own children this way?

You formulate so that we can be heard
But you mutilate all of our words.

Please Don’t rewrite my history
It’s not my responsibility
To teach you how to tolerate me
You just need to provide decent care to me.

You say that Formulation is good
That it’s used as a tool to help those like me feel understood
You say you want to amplify my voice
Yet you go silent whenever I try to ask for a choice
I want an active voice
Not a passive voice.
I want a real choice
This ain’t no Hobson’s Choice.

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

Did my trauma cause the disorder
Or did my disorder cause the trauma?
Does it even matter about the order?
Either way, it’s out of order.
Cuz I ain’t got no disorder,
And you don’t get to define my trauma.

You seem to care a lot about responsibility
Saying that you don’t want to take it all away from me
But when I mention that you have a lot of power over me
You aim to take *more* of that power away from me.
You try to sugarcoat it by saying you’re “empowering” me
Whilst banging on about all the opportunities that I myself have to end my own misery.
But What happened to no decision about me without me?

Or does that only apply to the ones that I make?
Reaching out was such a massive mistake.

I feel so dirty
I can’t get clean
Less is more
What does that even mean?

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

Go look at my notes And you’ll find Hundreds of lies
I barely even recognise This gospel of lies
It’s like an episode of “This is Your Fucking Life”

But they got the wrong person here sat in the chair.
That big red book is about a person that doesn’t exist anywhere.

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

Interventions to reduce short term risk
Come on now, you’re fucking taking the piss
Reckless behaviour?
Do me a favour
We need to end our misery?
You’re fucking kidding me?

Playing the long game but who’s keeping the score?
“Less is More” just means “leave them to it”, I’m sure.
Who’s benefit is all this actually for?
Because the fact it replicates abuse is something you’re all prepared to ignore.

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

Shall we switch it up a bit and share some direct quotes?
From the abusive policy that you so proudly wrote.

“The availability of the sort of care that looks after the young person in a protective way can be destabilising”

“It can be hard for people to understand why caring interventions provided for other patients, have not been offered”

Well that last bit is hardly fucking surprising?

You “strategically hold back from short term harm reduction” and you “play the long game”
Not in my name.
This ain’t no fucking game.
This a child you’re treating with such disdain,
So I’ll ask you again and again,
Would you treat your own children the same?

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

Lets focus in on the part where you say,
That even if tragic events occur,
You’ll still support the policy anyway.
This horrid policy shouldn’t have ever seen the light of day.

You should feel shame for this
Abuse is the right fucking name for this.
How dare you call it harm minimisation
When it is quite clearly your intention
To provide as little care as possible
And try call it an intervention.

Less is more,
More or less,
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess

Positive risk taking
It’s just a bunch of lies
There’s nothing positive about leaving people to die.
What exactly do you have to hide?
Take ownership of your mistakes and do what is right.

Step back and look at this policy from a different place,
Let’s pretend it’s your child that needs some support in place
So what do you do? Tell her she has an emerging personality disorder
And say it’s cuz she was abused.
What do you do when your child’s pleas for help are then refused?
Implying that the abuse justifies further abuse
Implying that the abuse was her fault
How would that make you feel?
Would it it feel personal?
Who is responsible?
Is abusive practice like this defensible?
Or is it despicable?

Less is more,
More or less.
You know it’s abuse right?
It’s time to confess.

Published by The Diaries of Donna

•Warrior Woman•

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