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Why it is so hard for consumers to effect change in mental health services

Its too stressful, too confrontational

I want to make a good impression – otherwise who knows when I will get out

They’re too busy – I don’t want to be a bother

They know what they’re doing – they’re the professionals

I don’t want to upset them – its hard enough for them as it is

They could take it personally and I don’t want to hurt their feelings

I might have to come back here and I don’t want them to see me as a trouble maker

I don’t want to upset them – some of them are really good

I don’t want to upset them – some of them are my friends

I don’t want to upset them – some of them I am afraid of

I don’t want to upset them – they’re really doing a good job under the circumstances

I don’t want to feel worse

They’re the ones who need looking after

Maybe I’m wrong

Maybe I only saw it as negative because I am depressed

If I say what really happened they will say it is my illness

If I get really upset they’ll put me back in the lock up

I’m not sure that I have the right

I must have done something to deserve it

Things are not that bad

They have all the power – I can’t buck it

Personally, I’m not political

They can’t hear it anyway – they are so stressed out themselves they’re more stressed out than I am

It’s not really them, they’re just doing their job under a whole lot of stresses – its ‘Their’ fault … government, politicians, the hospital, the drug companies, psychiatrists/nurses, the managers, carers, the lawyers, the medical establishment…

They’re doing the best they can

I couldn’t do their job

Some consumers don’t deserve to be listened to

I didn’t deserve it – but I’ll just keep quiet

I don’t want more blood taken/ECT given/time in seclusion/disapproval/disrespect

It can’t have happened – it’s a hospital, how could they have done that in a hospital?

It was alright last time – maybe it was just my bad luck

Nothing ever changes

Nothing happened last time I wrote a complaint

I prefer to ‘shut up and ship out’

It was just that one person, the others have been really good to me

I don’t want to be here/ I want to leave/I don’t want to come back

Why should I have to try and improve the service? I’m meant to be the patient. I’ll be out of here soon

Last time I tried they explained why it is impossible

Last time I tried they wrote it in my file

I’m just in a bad mood/paranoid/anxious

Its all too hard and too big to change

Even if they wanted to do something they would have to contend with their peers

It’s not so bad

I just need to concentrate on getting better

I want to get on with my own life

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