Petition to Theresa May MP
Remove my mentally ill brother from the streets & provide him with the treatment he needs
My brother Patrick needs your help. He has been living on the streets of London for since February 2016, battling multiple mental illnesses with a debilitating drug addiction. Patrick was diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar and depersonalisation disorder by various doctors years ago, and has spent the past 12 years self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. After years trying to seek help for my brother and with seemingly no other options left, I started this petition as a public plea to Islington Council and Police to step in. However - after lengthy discussion with services and charities, it has since been made clear that all services are limited with what they can do to help unless he is willing to engage, so I am now asking for a response from the Prime Minister, Teresa May. Theresa May - please address this serious situation and help provide a wider solution to the mental health/addiction/homelessness crisis. Currently the only way that Patrick and most other mentally ill homeless people can access help — is if they decide they are ready to access help. No one in their ‘right mind’ would want to live as homeless drug addict, but Patrick is not in his right mind. Patrick is at rock bottom as a result of years of failure to address his mental health issues. The once charming, popular and talented young musician has been reduced to a ghost of his former self. The mental health laws are failing people like Patrick every day. Despite a history of police incidents, hospital admissions and suicide attempts since his teenage years and an extremely long list of unreported incidents, we are unable to move Patrick into full time care as the current laws appear to make this virtually impossible. Now at 29 years old Patrick is living alone on the streets unwilling to accept the help that is constantly being offered to him. But how can someone experiencing mental illnesses be expected to USE that broken mind to decide whether they need help or not? Something urgently needs to change. There has to be the option for us family, friends and indeed members of the public to say — “this person needs help” and for mental health professionals to step in to take them to a place of safety. We shouldn’t have to wait until some terrible incident before we can phone 999 to ask for help. The Mental Health Act needs updating fast — so that it’s easier for family to help someone in Patrick’s position. Currently, under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act**, an application for sectioning would need to be made by an Approved Mental Health Professional or nearest relative within 14 days of seeing Patrick. The application must then be approved by two doctors who have seen him within five days of each other. I’ve been told by charities and social services that sectioning would be almost impossible in Patrick’s case — it’s difficult enough to section someone who is present with a permanent address. And Section 4 requires an ‘emergency situation’ to appear — which is sadly what we’re reduced to waiting for. We must look towards changing the laws in order to help cater for and support mentally ill, homeless and addicted people who aren’t able to make the right decisions for themselves. Someone needs to be able to step in to make these decisions for them — to take these people off the street and work through their mental/emotional issues with them, integrate them back into society — before it’s too late. Family MUST be given increased rights to help their loved ones - we are the ones who have known them all their lives and have seen them and helped them through all manner of situations. Even once a Mental Health Act assessment is achieved and undertaken, how can that 50 minute assessment with strangers be expected to accurately determine the treatment they require ongoing? After the mental health team at Westminster Court couldn't access my brother's GP records in time for his assessment they would not take into account the history I provided them with - they simply believed him when he denied having mental health issues. There are hundreds of people on the streets like Patrick — and a many a lot worse than Patrick. Our health services need urgently reevaluating to cater for the mentally ill and those who have become homeless as a result of mental illness — to give them a chance in life that they will otherwise miss out on. I have been informed that due to the area that Patrick is sleeping in, there is no team who can visit Patrick to carry out a Mental Health Act assessment on the street. Patrick's only hope is to be picked up by the police on a 136 if he 'appears' to be mentally unwell and to be referred to services that way. Another flaw in the system. This is a public plea for the the prospective new leaders of country to please step in and provide a solution to the mental health crisis. 'Care in the community' does not work. Mental health teams, drugs/alcohol services, police, paramedics, charities are all overstretched and they are not able to work together to help individuals in crisis. Vulnerable people are slipping through the net, becoming homeless and dying alone on the streets because of 'red tape', lack of funding and the disjointed nature of services. Addiction and mental illness go hand in hand, but dual diagnosis is largely misunderstood and both often mistakenly treated as separate issues. Addiction IS a mental illness and is a result of neglecting to take care of the mind. Those in crisis who ask for help are facing an excruciating wait for treatment. Those who don't believe they have a problem BECAUSE of their mental illness are left with nothing. Patrick's situation is a case study for this. I implore Teresa May to please address the severe lack of funding and awareness around dual diagnosis cases. Please help implement new measures to prevent such cases developing so frequently and provide solutions for treating the huge numbers already affected. Please consider revising the Mental Health Act to allow families to help their loved ones more easily while increasing funding for their treatment and aftercare and involve families more readily in ongoing treatment communications. Please start treating the CAUSE of homelessness/mental illness/addiction rather than discovering you cannot cope with the effect. And please help provide a solution to my brother Patrick's current situation. Mental illness is the problem — addiction and homelessness are the symptoms. If you see Patrick on the streets - PLEASE don’t tell him you've seen him on the internet/a campaign/blog etc as he is already paranoid enough and don't tell him to contact me. If you see him - please let me know his whereabouts instead or call 999 in an emergency situation. It was a tough decision to make this public, but I believe the alternative was to simply allow him to die alone on the streets. So I suppose not really a tough decision at all.However - you could tell him you recognise him from his YouTube channel and are a fan of his songs. Right now Patrick's love of music and the ridiculous amount of talent going to waste could be the one thing that inspires him to seek and accept help. Thank you. Find out more about Patrick's story here
Petition to Theresa May MP
Bereavement Leave to be given to all Grieving Families
Did you know that if a loved one dies your employer doesn't have to give you time off from work? 3 days seems to be the normal time given. My son Jack died suddenly just before his 2nd birthday and I was to discover the lack of entitlement . Please sign this petition to ask the government to Create Bereavement leave to protect other families. While many good employers offer compassionate leave, there is no statutory right to leave and this campaign aims to introduce two weeks of paid bereavement leave for the death of a Child and members of the immediate family. In the immediate aftermath of the death families have to cope with their individual loss, the grief of their wider family, including other children, as well as a vast amount of administrative and other arrangements such as the funeral and in some cases a post Mortem. Just three days off for a family death is an anomaly and I ask for your help to have this amended. I am supported in my campaign by many organisations who feel the same as I do. Grief can effect us at different times, it's something that we learn to cope with but it never leaves us #talkingishealing
Petition to Entertainment Agencies, South Korean Government
Mental Health Support for Artists in the Entertainment Industry
After what happened with SHINee's Jonghyun, we consider that it's been time, since long ago, to ask for the mental health support the people in this career need, because they are human beings, and mental health issues affect everyone and should not be ignored. With this we want to ask all entertainment agencies to make a plan or program to monitor mental health in their employees not for the company's interests, but for their artists' well-being and a back up for the employees that the program won't be used against them and harm their careers but to help them get back on their feet. We also want this mental health support to be extended to all industries, because mental health issues are not just imagination, they are sickness in their brain, that deserve attention just like cancer. This is a serious matter and should be given the importance it has. Art by @gehenna1986 (twitter)
Petition to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Prof Dame Sally Davies, Dr Duncan Selbie
Provide tests for Group B Strep to prevent any more avoidable deaths of newborn babies
My partner Scott and I should have been sharing our son Edward Gili’s first birthday last month. But instead of having that exciting first year to celebrate and many more to look forward to, we had just 9 precious days to spend with our beautiful son. Edward was cruelly taken from us as a result of contracting group B Strep infection at birth. On average, one newborn baby a day in the UK develops group B Strep infection. One baby a week dies from group B Strep infection. One baby a fortnight who survives the infection is left with long-term disabilities - physical, mental or both. It is the UK’s most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies under 3 months. Group B Strep is a normal bacterium carried by around 1/4 women, without symptoms and usually unknowingly. It can be passed from mother to baby around birth with potentially devastating consequences for the baby. But these consequences are usually preventable and that’s why I’ve started this petition with the charity Group B Strep Support. Unlike many other developed countries including Germany and Spain, the UK does not routinely offer tests to pregnant women specifically to check for Group B Strep carriage during late pregnancy. If doctors know a mum is carrying GBS, they can administer simple antibiotics during labour to prevent the infection - over 80% of these infections could be prevented. However the GBS-specific ECM (enriched culture medium) test is rarely available through the NHS. Since 2003, the UK has used ‘risk factors’ to guess which pregnant women might be at risk. Risk factors are poor at predicting which babies will develop the infection -- the number of babies infected is growing, we need to stop guessing and start testing. The ECM test costs the NHS £11 each and the antibiotics used in labour (usually penicillin) cost the NHS pennies. Had we had ECM tests in place, Edward Gili could be here today for us to see his first steps and hear his first words. We can’t afford to lose any more lives, we can’t afford not to do this.
Petition to Theresa May MP
Reform PIP; invisible illnesses sufferers are NOT being treated fairly
Many people in the UK suffer from invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS/RSD), depression, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, borderline personality disorder; autism; just to name a few! The PIP system is failing so many people and rejecting them due to a lack of knowledge and experience. The forms are not written out with mental health or other invisible illnesses (with varying conditions) in mind. It is hard to explain a typical day as it varies constantly. I myself have been diagnosed with CRPS. and fibromyalgia. I developed it at the age of 23 and have to live with it for the rest of my life now. There are no medications out there to get rid of my pain. I am in pain every single day down the whole right side of my body. I developed repetitive strain injury at the age of 22 and because it was not treated correctly; I now have a condition that is incurable. I was doing an apprenticeship at the time of injury and wanted a career within an office. I have been told my career is over now and I need to look at alternative jobs. I have been declined from PIP for two years in a row. They said that I am fine and can work with one hand. I suffer from depression and am on the maximum dose allowed. I suffer from three invisible illnesses; but because they are invisible everyone assumes that I am fine. I am in pain every second of the day. I can only sleep with the help of tablets. I have been told there is no pain killer in the UK that is strong enough for me. I am aware that as of 13th December 2017, the government have said they will reform PIP and ESA; and will get rid of the mandatory reconsideration. However I do not know how this will affect; or how it will benefit people like myself. I want to ensure that people like you & me will be taken into consideration when the changes are being made. I am 25 and my life is that of an elderly person. I struggle to walk around shopping centres. My right arm and leg will give way sometimes and I cannot use them. I struggle to cook dinners and clean the house. Doing these tasks hurt me so much I have to spend the next day laying on the couch recovering. I do not go out far and never alone as I am scared my right leg will collapse. I am on more medication than my grandad who is 84! I have wrote a three page letter which I will attach on here for everyone to read. It is addressed to Theresa May regarding my story and what proposals I have come up with. I believe the PIP system needs to invest more understanding and consideration when assessing someone with an invisible illness. Just giving people disability allowance isn't going to fix problems. Providing them with understanding psychologists and easier access to treatments such as physical therapy will help many. Allowing people to be able to pay for their own medication and not relying on their partner or family will make them feel a little more independence than what they currently feel at the moment. I have seen in the news that people have committed suicide after their disability allowance has been revoked. I have seen that people suffering with CRPS have committed suicide due to not receiving the correct treatment and not being able to cope mentally anymore. Please read my letter to Theresa May for more insight into myself as a living example of someone the government has failed. I am not ready to give up hope. I am not asking to be on benefits forever. I would love to get the support I need for a while to get back on my feet and to hopefully be fit enough to be able to cope with a part time job. I would like others; no matter what their illness is; to get the help that they need. We are all humans and we all feel pain. I am sure many other sufferers can agree when I say I would do anything to be healthy and get back into a full time job. Thank you for taking the time to read this - Amanda
Petition to Jeremy Hunt
LIFE-SAVING CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY TREATMENT ON THE NHS!
We, the signers of this petition, have two wishes: Short-term: financially support cancer patients who have exhausted all treatment options currently available on the NHS and enable them to receive cancer Immunotherapy treatment. Abroad if necessary. Long-term: Make cancer Immunotherapy treatment available on the NHS to all cancer patients. "More can - and therefore must - be done for those in need." This treatment has proven to be the difference between life and death for many. As it has been for her: Gemma Nuttall. She is fighting metastatic ovarian cancer. It was first discovered while she was pregnant in 2014. She saved her unborn baby’s life by refusing a recommended termination. The tumour on her ovary was only removed after her beautiful baby girl Penelope was born safe and sound. She is now a healthy three-year-old :) But Gemma's cancer kept coming back: to her cervix, to her lungs and multiple times to her brain. Each time more aggressive. She underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy countless times. In March 2017 Gemma had a massive seizure. The outcome of a brain scan was devastating: many more brain tumours were found. She endured ten days of very risky Whole brain radiotherapy. Doctors on the NHS said her cancer was incurable and not treatable. She was put on end-of-life care and given only a few months to live. But Gemma and her family refused to give up. There was still treatment waiting: Immunotherapy - a revolution in cancer medicine which enables the body’s immune system to recognise and kill cancer cells. It brings the disease under control for a much longer time - which means it can prolong lives considerably. It has much fewer side-effects than chemotherapy. It has even seen cancers diagnosed as incurable, put into complete remission. But it's not available in the UK for most types of cancer. As a result, patients in need are completely on their own and somehow have to carry the financial burden of the treatment themselves – which is an impossible task. A private oncology clinic in Germany, the Hallwang Clinic, has specialized itself on Immunotherapy. It is a target for many. Luckily, none other than Kate Winslet found out about Gemma :) With her incredible help and support Gemma's family was able to raise over 300,000 Pounds for her Immunotherapy treatment. Gemma had seven treatments of Immunotherapy at the Hallwang Clinic in Germany. The treatment was a complete success! Full body scans and MRI head scans came back clear! Please follow the Facebook page: facebook.com/ImmunotherapyUK to stay up-to-date on our quest to make Immunotherapy available on the NHS as well as on Gemma. THANK YOU VERY MUCH Oktay Aslantas
Petition to Phillip Dunne
Make Autistic 'Cures' Illegal In The UK.
When both my son and I were diagnosed with autism, I did everything to research the condition and learn how to handle it best. I was shocked to discover online dozens of UK non-medical professionals claiming to sell autism “cures”. Currently there’s nothing to stop people marketing the false idea that autism is something that can be or needs to be cured. I think it’s time we change that. Autism is a neurological condition, it’s not something you can cure like an injury or illness. With the right professional therapies, people with autism can thrive, but there’s no product that can offer a magical "fix." It’s not only offensive that cures are being sold for people like me and my kids, it’s dangerous too. These treatments are unproven and some can be lethal -- the most famous MMS (essentially bleach by another name) is fed to children, given as an enema or even put into babies' bottles. It can cause seizures, stripping of the bowel and severe dehydration along with respiratory problems and there is some evidence up to 8,000 parents are buying and using it. I know that parents want to help their kids but they are being misled and misinformed. Marketers are exploiting these parents, profiting from their vulnerability and endangering children's lives. We have a law, the cancer act, that makes it illegal for people to sell cures for cancer. I think it’s about time we get a law that protects people with Autism too. Please help me by calling on the UK government to introduce a law that stops people selling cures for autism. Thank you, Emma Dalmayne. You can read about this here, here and here.
Petition to Theresa May MP
Create a Breast Density Inform Law - so women know how effective mammograms are for them
Knowing and understanding your breast density can be life-saving. Dense breasts are not abnormal but dense breast tissue can mask cancer detection on mammography. About 40% of women age 40 and over have dense breast tissue. In America, 30 states have passed a law stating that women having mammograms must be told about breast density. Tumours show up as white on a mammogram, so does dense breast tissue. If you have dense tissue it's like looking for a ball of cotton wool in a snowstorm and breast density is a well-established predictor of developing breast cancer. Whilst, mammography can be effective on fatty tissue breasts, it is not as effective on dense tissue and can miss cancers. This can lead to cancers being detected at a later, more advanced stage. Equipped with knowledge about breast density, women can make informed decisions about their breast health.