Act-ed up

Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations – Poem 42

you get sentenced
to thirty days
maybe forty

the Act can do that to you

one day
you’re walking the streets
minding your business
listening to your voices
running amok a bit in a quiet way maybe
or just sitting alone in your room
for a few weeks
a month

doing no harm

next thing
someone makes a Request
and some Doctor you’ve never seen before
seconds the motion with a Recommendation

[SNAP] you’ve been Section 9’d

the Police cart you off to the Inpatient Unit
in the back of a Divvy Van

[SNAP] you’ve been Section 10’d

some Psychiatrist confirms Involuntary Status and

[SNAP] you’ve been Section 12’d

to get force-fed pills
not allowed to leave
hardly to breathe or scream
until a Doctor says it’s okay





there’s a guy here
only twenty-two
he’s already done a hundred days
and he’ll do a hundred more
god help him

that’s your Act for you
your bastard Mental Health Act
of 1986

you’re all nothing but a pack

of pricks

© Frank Prem, 2016

Next – the eyebrows I think


4 thoughts on “Act-ed up

  1. As cruel as that is, about 30 years or so, ago the American Civil Liberties Union won a case that kept people seemed not a danger from being locked in wards against their will.
    Now they live on the street, untreated, uncared for, by most, unnoticed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When we learned about that it was described to us as ‘rotting with your rights on’. Our tradition is the British Asylum model, but that too has changed. We get a new Mental Health Act about once a generation (the most recent in 2014-15) and progressively more rights are being channeled toward the mentally ill person – rights of refusal, layers of bureaucracy and paperwork to complete and so on.

      When we closed our institutions, my thought was we would have to open new ones to cope with the prob;em of folk on the streets and we did – the prisons system has increased capacity like crazy.


      • Here too. A more cost effective model. Low maintenance. The forgotten who don’t deserve basic human rights. My pet peeves is the rape that we are complicit in. Has become humorous to people.
        You can invest in prisons on the stock market now.

        Liked by 1 person

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