We are patients, families, consumer advocates, and mental health professionals striving to improve the quality of care and compassion shown to people who are assessed and admitted to hospital due to a psychiatric illness or to those receiving follow-up psychiatric care in their community.
People suffering from an acute psychiatric illness are highly vulnerable when they enter a hospital and are admitted, sometimes against their will. Sadly, rather than experiencing a safe, hopeful and therapeutic healthcare system that promotes healing, too often patients and their families feel humiliated, degraded, dismissed or abused.
The weDOmatter initiative has been born out of the need to advocate for a better mental health care system, that treat patients, families, and caregivers with dignity and respect.
1. Provide a voice to the many people who feel traumatized, poorly treated, and neglected by our mental health care system.
2. Urge governments to create a “rapid-access patient advocacy program”, comprised of easily accessible advocates that will respond and intervene in a timely and apolitical manner to complaints from patients, families, and caregivers.
3. Devise an annual mental health report card, based on feedback from patients, families and mental health professionals, assessing how hospitals, health authorities, and outpatient programs are performing.
4. Maintain a positive, proactive approach to changing a broken system, rather than focusing on past failures. However, we recognize the need to share the experiences/testimonials of patients and families with administrators, mental health professionals and politicians to demonstrate the need for substantial improvement. To do so, we will provide overwhelming data, gathered from those with lived experience, to clearly define the scope of the problem and the need for swift and decisive action.
5. Highlight the need for improved training of healthcare providers in the area of professional ethics.
6. Encourage the skill development of mental health care professionals, focusing on de-escalation techniques, motivational interviewing and non-aggressive interventions to avoid traumatizing already vulnerable individuals.
7. To encourage approaches that are patient-centered and based on high quality, rigorous scientific research and sound, ethical clinical experience.