10 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Jeremy Hunt

Provide Tapering Strips to help users who want to stop taking anxiety & depression drugs

Provide Tapering Strips to help users who want to stop taking anxiety & depression drugs Psychoactive prescription drugs (such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications) are often very difficult to stop taking. Many people experience difficulties stopping or reducing their drugs even with the support of Doctors and Psychiatrists. Because stopping or reducing these drugs is so difficult, many people feel trapped into taking these tablets for many years, giving them side effects and costing the NHS money in providing unnecessary prescriptions. Many of these drugs cause a physical dependance and the best way to avoid any unpleasant symptoms is to reduce the dosage slowly over an extended period. As it is now, many people who want to stop have no option but to reduce to the lowest possible dosage then “jump off” which can be extremely challenging. Some users simply carry on taking a drug beyond the point at which it was effective and useful to avoid the challenge of stopping. A Dutch research team, led by Dr. Peter Groot and working with the not-for-profit Cinderella Therapeutics foundation have created the solution that this petition is calling for, website is in Dutch but an English translation is on the way Listen to my interview with Dr. Groot here: What we want We want the UK medical authorities to trial and implement Tapering Strips which provide the most commonly prescribed medications in decreasing doses over a period of time.  We need Tapering Strips to help the millions of users of psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs because: Many tablets are only available in increments that are so large that they are useless for gradual lowering (tapering) of the dose.  Liquid forms for some medications are available but tend to be hugely expensive and therefore the NHS will not provide them.  Pill cutting is, at best, a hit and miss affair and can lead to withdrawal. Many doctors and psychiatrists confuse the symptoms of withdrawal with a return of the symptoms that the tablet was originally prescribed for. These kits would save a significant amount of time for General Practitioners, Psychiatrists and Community Mental Health teams. These kits would help users of psychiatric medications stop taking them safely and in a controlled fashion, giving them control over their drug intake. This solution exists and has already helped over 2,000 Dutch patients. We should adopt this approach UK wide and learn all we can from the Dutch researchers leading the study. This is vital work, and the solution is elegant and brilliantly simple. For more information visit:

James Moore
2,394 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to singaporeans

The hypocrisy of Singapore: Legalise assisted suicide or abolish the death penalty

ForewordThis will be a very long and difficult read, and involves the discussion of a highly contentious issue. I beg everyone to please read my entire essay. I am writing about deeply personal issues that have hurt me so much. I am essentially reliving these bad memories, and talking about them in hopes that I make a change. Please, please, share this story, and start talking about this. I beg you.Introduction/Context My name is Darren Toh. I'm 20 years old this year and currently attempting to take A levels as a private candidate. I was a former student of Jurong Junior College, but due to the debilitating and crippling nature of my illness, I left the institution in mid 2016 in hopes that I would recover. I am formally diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder(or more commonly known as Depression)[MDD]. I have been suffering from this since 2012, and have been in great pain since then. Unfortunately, I am still not well...I'm tearing up as I am writing this. There is a very real possibility that I will be unable to take A levels this year, or at least be unable to score well. In spite of my illness, I have worked hard to force myself to persevere onward. Often, I choke back tears in public while doing math or physics, trying so desperately to concentrate on my work. But because of my mental illness, I simply am unable to. I have been hospitalised a total of three times in 2016 and 2017, and during my hospitalisations I often would try to do work and study. I've already had two suicide attempts last year, and was close to attempting once again this year. What ended up happening was that close friends of mine intervened and stopped me, and as mentioned above I got hospitalised at the Institute of Mental Health(IMH).I can't in good faith say that if I do make another attempt at taking my life, that I will fail. Having had literal experience in attempting suicide, and having been through so much pain, I've become extremely desensitised to pain. I can punch walls and slice myself with razor blades with no hesitation. This physical pain that I feel pales in comparison to the pain in my chest that I feel every single day, at every single moment. Though I have no plans at taking my life at the moment, and I don't think intervention is necessary because I don't intend to kill myself, thoughts of death flood my mind all the time. Because all I feel is pain, pain and pain.I understand that many of you won't understand what I'm going through, and I am so glad that you don't. Yes, it would be nice to have people truly know my plight, but that would also mean that you would've had to suffer through this illness. This illness is absolute hell. I have absolutely zero ways to relieve my pain, and often all I can do is curl up into a ball and sob uncontrollably. Medications do little for me because I'm treatment resistant.I've talked a lot about pain, but you might be wondering, where does this pain arise from? I have had close to no stressors(A levels does not cause stress for me), and yet why is it that I feel so perpetually miserable? The general consensus among physicians is that an imbalance in brain chemistry causes this sadness, to put things simply.A levels gives meaning to my life and makes me quite happy(sometimes). I enjoy learning about the sciences, mathematics and economics(though to a lesser extent). I take my education very seriously, and my personal tutor can attest to that. I'm insanely curious and inquisitive, and often I don't think my curiosity can be sated. Here's a sneak peak of my Google Keep about things I want to read about but have to put off due to my studies: I believe that's enough about me. I am writing on this platform to point out the hypocrisy of our laws, and am hoping that societal views towards Suicide and Physician Assisted Suicide(PAS) change. Hopefully, this will pressure our government and lawmakers into doing something I believe will lessen the suffering of many, and is ultimately a public good. Statistics & Argument A majority of Singaporeans support the death penalty[1]. After seeing the religious demographic of Singaporeans, if I were to combine the percentage of Singaporeans who are Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Catholic and Hindu, what I arrive at is that 77.6% of Singaporeans are religious[2]. If I were to take the pessimistic view that all individuals practicing these religions are against people taking their own lives, and thus are not in support of PAS(which is an extremely big generalisation), why is it that a majority of Singaporeans support the death penalty? This is extremely hypocritical and logically inconsistent. I heavily urge you to think about this. In 2016, 429 individuals took their lives in Singapore[3]. Whilst I sincerely feel I am not doing these individuals justice by just quoting a number, I do not know them personally. Please understand that every death, every person suffering from depression's situation is highly contextual and personal. No two individuals have the same plight, so you absolutely cannot generalise and throw labels and define them by their diagnosis. For example, I believe that my depression is deeply biological in nature(hence it recurring without any stressors at all), but another person's depression might be reactive to traumatic situations. That is why understanding is absolutely important. There are different types of depression.Of these 429 individuals, more than half of them possibly suffered from MDD(I'm quoting statistics from an American site as I am unable to find relevant data about Singapore)[4]. Why is it that these individuals have had to take their lives, alone? Because abetting one's death is illegal in Singapore. In order to prevent their loved ones from possibly being prosecuted for abetting one's death, individuals often have to take their lives alone. Does it not sadden you to know that they have to go out in a painful manner, without the comfort of loved ones and with the reassurance of dying in a controlled environment? Failed suicide attempts often have jarring consequences. Attempted suicides through asphyxiation can result in brain damage. Jumping off buildings does not guarantee death, and can cripple an individual for life. People who take their lives know this, and yet they still do it. Why? It is because they are hurting extremely badly. It doesn't have to be like this. If PAS is legalised in Singapore, individuals who are greatly suffering can die a peaceful death, surrounded by friends and family. It also brings about closure, knowing that said individuals died without having to suffer through hanging themselves or jumping off buildings. I know there are even more painful ways of going out, because I know how to kill myself. I am definitely not saying that PAS should be given to EVERY depressed individual, or EVERY suffering individual. I do believe there should be stringent guidelines set in place to determine the suitability of every individual, in order to prevent abuse. One cannot quantify or know if one's life will be 'good' or 'bad'. But do not PRESUME that everyone's life will be meaningful and fulfilling, and do not project your life experiences unto others. There is a reason why people willingly take their lives. A depressed person's view on life is just as valid as any other individual's, because NO ONE knows if one's life will be good or bad. I personally think that my life is going to be horrible with my illness. I don't find life meaningful, and I don't find life enjoyable or rewarding. I want to end my life. Personal Documentation I have uploaded videos of me breaking down before on social media as well as YouTube in hopes of ending the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. While I was able to get a few people to reach out to me, I am absolutely certain there are many more suffering in silence, or not having their illnesses diagnosed and validated. I intend to document more of the pain I experience, but I hope you will join me in my battle against the stigma of mental illnesses. It is time to speak up. No more silence. You can view them here: Closing(A personal statement) I know and recognise that my methodology in trying to present this issue might be flawed in some way. In the end, I haven't received a college education, and do keep in mind that I haven't even taken my As. Please feel free to correct me, and point out any logical inconsistencies or fallacies I have made. I'll be more than happy to know(and hopefully correct) the mistakes I've made. As many of my friends and family would know, I am an insanely driven person. I take control of my life, and refuse to let circumstances define me. I absolutely refuse to let my illness take another thing from me. It is one of the most painful things one can experience to lose something because of an illness. Having had to leave JC, a chance to socialise 'normally' among my peers. Having had to deal with accusations of faking depression, stigma. Having already made attempts on my life in hopes of ending the pain. And perhaps worst of all, having seen how my illness has affected my close friends and family. I hate that I am making them upset. My sister confided to me once that she worries I'll take my life everytime I step out of the house. If I could, if I had the strength to, I would gladly bear this pain and put up a farce so that they wouldn't be upset. But I can't. I'm at my wits end. A harsh reality I've came to accept a long time ago is that sometimes in life, there are no winners. If I take my life, I'm being selfish because I put my needs before theirs. But if I openly share with them that I am in a world of pain, and yet am being told that I have to stay alive, isn't that not just my family, but society being selfish? Do you see how I just manipulated and twisted the situation, just as what people have been doing to me to guilt me into staying alive? So who's going to shoulder the responsibility of a lose-lose situation? No one has to, if we change the way we see suicide and depression. I will try my darndest to fight my illness and hopefully do well for my As. But I can't say with all honesty that I'm very hopeful at this point...Everyone is entitled to a life without suffering. If that is not possible, and treatment options have been exhausted, then they should be entitled to a peaceful end to their life if they desire so. This is the human and compassionate thing to do. I want to end by saying that if you need help or would like to talk about mental illness(more towards Depression) with someone who has had experience with them, feel free to approach me. I'm contactable on Facebook as Darren Toh. I believe my experiences can help give you direction, and hopefully help you step out of the darkness. Thank you for your time. Citations [1][2][3][4]

Darren Toh
43 supporters