Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

What's worse than being sectioned? Is it listening to the shrieking of a smoke alarm? Having the details of your psychological debris being broadcast to the nation (on ITV of all channels- really)? Or listening to it at high volume when a smoke alarm is going off, and you're trying to think of a witty user name. What card do you send to Frank Bruno? Get Sane Soon? But more about my views on cards at some other point. The first thing to bear in mind when reading this is I have an opinion on everything. The second thing to bear in mind is my whole host of foibles. I can't take listening to adverts, ITV, football, or anyone who thinks being a rapper is about talking in a deep voice to a generic beat.

Anyway, back to Frank. I suppose I've got more of an insight into this process than most (I'm a secretary in a social work team, including two ASWs- the social worker needed to report when someone is sectioned). Some secretary somewhere is typing up an ASW report hardly believing what they're doing.

I suppose we get hung up on the "otherness" of sectioning- very few people will admit to knowing someone who has been, and we haven't really progressed beyond the "carried off by men in white coats" cliche. So Frank's proof that it's not that rare. After all, one in three of use will get close to that. But I got told at work once that although there are signs, a great deal of people choose to ignore them, until one day they just loose it. The hospitals are full of professional types who just didn't look after their mental health, and one day just woke up crazy. I can believe it.

Nice to see the public still haven't got out of Diana mode. Thanks to all those people who jammed up the hospital switchboard to wish him well, and to all those journalists standing in the ambulance bay.

Get sane soon, anyway.


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