THE 4/6/19 OPEN MEETING

     As you can see, our guest speaker made it to the meeting!

June – a month of long sunny days? Especially along the North Wales coastline towards Prestatyn in the early evening right? Wrong!  June 4th. started as a miserable and very wet day……..and continued so until well into the late evening.

We needed to set the place up – needed to carry information posters etc. from the car into the hall. We waited and waited, hoping for a break in the weather – all in vain; the rain kept hammering down so everything had to be covered with black plastic bags which were hurriedly put in the car boot and out again with the same haste at the church.

We already knew that a good few of the number who attended the previous meeting were not going to make it due to a variety of illnesses or conditions. Watching the rain coming down, we really wondered if ANYONE would turn up – anyone, that is, except the marvellous helpers who we knew would be there taking care of the refreshments and to sell the raffle tickets.

Then we started wondering about our speaker – how would he cope with his journey along the coast? Parts of that road flood very easily, maybe he’d not be able to make it either. We weren’t sure which would be the worst – a guest speaker but no audience or an audience but no guest speaker!   We need not have worried for we had our guest speaker and we had an audience of twenty. We are so grateful to all who ventured out and made it such a homely, warm meeting. We started around 6.45pm and were entertained until 9.05 when we suddenly seemed to have reached exhaustion level! 

Now they do say that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and below, you will find that saying rings so true. I have no idea why I’ve ended up with one image which is much larger than the others nor why it’s appeared top and bottom of the post. I’ve pressed every available button to no avail, have hunted for a ‘delete image’ button – nowhere to be seen, so, in desperation, have left both and will now offer a little explanation about the images.

The large one – which is determined to appear twice! – was set up to illustrate the work that Brian of Antidepaware diligently carries out to show the link, as he sees it, between AD use and loss of young lives. Brian and his wife had travelled to be with us at this and the previous meeting.     The table also had a few facts about akathisia and we had 3 candles lit in memory of all lives lost to prescribed drugs.  We had a table with information about RxISK.org/ Prize Fund as you can see. The next image shows the table about our group and also about the WARM network of groups. Below that is the image showing the work of Stevie Lewis and her petition and, alongside is a table with information about RoAccutane (an acne drug). We also displayed news of the recent U-turn by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. They have finally announced that withdrawal can be quite problematic for many and needs to be taken seriously! Their previous view was that everything would be fine by the end of 2 weeks after withdrawal. Stevie’s petition here in Wales and Marion’s in Scotland had helped create this turn around in thinking about withdrawal.

TThat is more or less the extent of our display.

The main part, of course, was our time with David Healy. Considering the seriousness of the topic, he manages to entertain in a light-hearted manner and includes his audience who quite willingly take part, either with their own questions or with their views on points that he makes.

At the end of the meeting, after David had been thanked for sharing so much information with us, we made a promise to donate £150, in the name of Nant Hall Church, to the Rxisk Prize Fund. This money had been raised within a few of the church’s outreach groups and from a raffle plus donations at that evening’s meeting. That has now been duly done and we are in receipt of an email which shows that the money has been placed in the fund.

All in all, it was a very successful evening and some have already asked when Dr Healy will next be with us; others have requested an invite again to his next interesting talk.

THIS TYPE OF EVENING MAY NOT BE BRINGING THOSE IN WITHDRAWAL THROUGH THE DOORS TO OUR MEETINGS BUT IT IS OUR OPINION THAT IT RAISES AWARENESS OF THE DANGERS SURROUNDING SO MANY OF OUR MEDICATIONS, MAKES US MORE AWARE OF THE NEED TO THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT MEDICATIONS THAT WE ARE PRESCRIBED AND TAKES AWAY THE FEAR OF TALKING OPENLY ABOUT OUR OWN EXPERIENCES.         After all, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE and this, we feel, can only be achieved by educating our communities about the medications that they may be offered in the future.

I was all set up to film the above meeting but, almost immediately, my camera malfunctioned. I managed most of the remainder of the meeting on my phone. I’m sorry if you become rather seasick as you watch – steadying a small phone for a length of time is not an easy task. Bear with it and you should hear most of the replies if not the questions.

(The persistent foghorn voicing her opinion all too often is my mum – she was sat far too close to the said phone. She is very apologetic – especially as she considered herself a ‘quiet person’ until she listened to this!)

Find the video on our Facebook page.

Published by SRCooke_29_11-79

Withdrawing from psychotropic drugs

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1 Comment

  1. Shane, I am so inspired by all that you and your mum have done to hold this event in your community. It is obvious you’ve had to do a lot of planning, a great deal of work, and then pulling it all together with the displays, informational leaflets, etc. Even from here I can see that you have put a lot of heart into it, too. I think that is exactly what is needed and you all have done it so well. Thank you for putting so much into this and for making a great example to follow. We are having some events here in mid-July and I hope to borrow some of your ideas!

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