Saturday 7th March 2015

Next EECAF meeting at 2 pm in Foot of the Walk, at the bottom of Leith Walk, Leith, EDINBURGH.   2 – 3 pm Regular General Meeting.


Join us at our next meeting

Sorry our last meeting on Saturday 3rd January 2pm in Nelson Hall, MacDonald Road Library, Broughton, EDINBURGH EH7 4LU was cancelled.  This was due to the ill health of two of the trustees.  We shall be holding our 2nd Annual General Meeting on Saturday 7th February at 2pm.  If you wish to take part, RSVP to James Carter email:-


The Sunday Times on Nov 10 reported, drawn from Psychology Today, two professors, Suniya Luthar of Arizona and Tanya Byron of London, with findings on life pressures on kids from the type of backgrounds where high flying successes are pursued more seriously. The common sense that this pressure damages mental health is now borne out by a measure that a doubled rate of mental crises went with more affluent backgrounds, with the success focussed culture around affluence was perceived to correlate with school pressures and social success pressures. Of course, it is not only affluent people who encounter these, but it illustrated the effects of a success focussed culture. An EECAF member whose background was certainly not affluent experienced a similar success pressure at that age as a result of ambitious educators. Its outcome was not success at all, instead a prolonged experience of crisis teenage psychiatry. It was not helpful. This service’s attitude was: a coping crisis inflicted on you by others cancels all your personal liberty. They were determined to impose their own arrogant program of unsuitable personal changes in every way that would please them. They exploited the crisis situation as grounds to threaten compulsion, for an agenda of stuff that was nothing to do with the crisis. By high handed certainty that meant they had to be fought as ill-treaters, by an already crisis stressed child, they totally failed as a service of care to provide any refuge or final escape from the folks who had caused the crisis. Which made a big difference to the adult life to come after it, as it meant the chance had not been regained to plan a future sensibly. This member mailed both professors to share from experience the concern that this could be the standard of so-called help given to the kids whose stress problem they have alerted to. Of course this is not done in high expectation of a response, from top professors who have been in the Sunday Times, but that is no reason to stop ex-patients expressing the concern against damaging unhelpful treatment and asking if it is being avoided. The question applies to adults too, in work pressure situations such as raised by the also recent well known story about too intensive work in certain types of trading. It is good that some recognition is being forced to happen for the well justified reasons for suffering crisis stress situations and to need for gently understandingly supportive help for the effects. But mainstream psychiatry is not to be trusted to deliver real help of that nature. Just by determining to take control and believing it should do, it can make the stressed person’s life disaster even worse. It needs to lose that power. In the slavery story from London too, there was a charity talking to the media about the mental trauma and needs to work with it, implying a mental health service being involved. Again, this was heard without any questioning of whether the approach to delivering such a need would be high handed and roughshod, and by it not deliver support at all but more trauma, more distress. So the EECAF member put that concern to that charity too. The theme of trauma help has run through recent news, but always without thought of any need to scrutinise the practices and powers of the services trusted to give it.

EECAF calls for discimination claims to be addressed

EECAF has a new campaigning issue against Redhall Walled Garden, SAMH and the Social Work Department.

An EECAF member, male, adopted the alias “Imogen” at Redhall, where he claims he experienced reverse gender discrimination in 2008.

It is far from being the exemplary institution it has been made out to be on the Hardest Hit Campaign and in a Sunday paper.

Furthermore, the handling of Imogen’s complaint by the Social Work Department has been most unsatisfactory and unjust, as they are determined not to do anything.

To read further, click here.

Learn more with a free download


The subject of psychiatric medications and its impact on peoples’ wellbeing is a complicated one. Prescriptions for mood-altering drugs have exploded in the U.S. and Europe since Fluoxetine (i.e., Prozac) was approved in 1987 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, we are only recently slowly coming to examine the impact these drugs have had and are having on users and society.

So to better understand how these drugs impact users  — which include everybody from mildly depressed housewives, to mental patient to children who have trouble concentrating in school — we present here a collection of news articles, blog posts and books on psychiatric medication.

The nine-page collection is available to download for free and includes active links to news articles, the majority of which are from mainstream news outlets like the New York Times, blog posts and a list of books.

Please feel free to download and share.

Download by clicking the link below.


Creativity is blooming


It’s summer in Scotland, or spring or autumn or winter…in Scotland it’s hard to tell and you could get all these seasons in the same day.

But here on the EECAF blog creativity is blooming.

So, go ahead and check out our creativity section.

We have added three poems by Joe McFarlane. EECAF founder James Carter says Joe is a “superb poetess” and that we are lucky she has offered her poems for the website.

New poem added to our Creativity section

Please check out a new poem by Thomas Hoskyns Leonard in our Creativity section.

Hope you enjoy The Signet, the Circle and the Shrinks.

This just in from the New York Times

Today the New York Times has published a piece about a study in Sweden that has linked use of antidepressants taken during pregnancy to autism.

The Times describes the study as being “cautiously worded” and, as always, correlation does not prove causality.

Nevertheless, it’s worth a look. Here’s the link.

NHS Lothian strategic manager Linda Irvine contacts EECAF

It looks like EECAF is getting noticed.

Linda Irvine has written a very helpful letter to EECAF Chairperson and founder James Carter. In the letter she promises to keep him informed of any new local developments regarding psychiatric care.

Way to go James!

Why is this woman in a wheelchair?

Now age 23 and no longer taking psychiatric drugs, Jenelle remains a charming, intellectually sharp, articulate, and pretty young woman (prettier than she looks in photographs), so much so that despite being wheelchair-bound by her drug-induced physical disability.”

Read the rest of Jenelle’s story.

It is stories like these that inspired the formation of EECAF.