Some autistic people and people with learning difficulties are locked up in hospitals.
The “Free Our People Now” campaign wants to stop people being locked up in hospitals.
Before I was ill, I travelled around the world by myself for 7 years.
I was very independent.
Then I came home because my brother was very unwell.
I experienced serious emotional distress.
Emotional distress is when people feel emotions very strongly. So much that it stops them doing other things.
It could be feeling really upset, angry or worried. It could be being so sad or scared it is hard to do other things.
My family asked for help from people who did not know anything about autism.
This was a big mistake.
I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Sectioned means someone is made to stay in hospital for their mental health. They have to stay even if they do not want to.
When I was taken to hospital, it felt like kidnapping.
They gave me medication.
They said they could keep me there for up to 28 days.
But after 17 months, I was still there.
They often restrained me. That means they stopped me moving.
They also gave me too much medication.
They kept me away from other people.
It left me with PTSD, a serious mental health disorder.
PTSD is the short way of saying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
When people go through a difficult or terrifying event, they may get PTSD.
People with PTSD can have nightmares and anxiety. They can feel like they are living the terrible event again.
I think our money is going towards abuse.
We see news stories about hospitals doing things very wrong or hurting people.
But people stop talking about it too quickly.
No-one fixes it.
Victims don’t get support or justice. Victims aren’t believed.
Authorities have no power to find out about this abuse and stop it.
We need to stop putting people in these hospitals.
They cost a lot of money.
I think we should spend this money differently. There are better ways to help people.
I think we need to make sure people can live in their community.
It is better for people to have person-centred care.
Person-centred care is what will help someone in the best way.
Everyone cannot have the same care.
That does not work.
Person-centred care helps people in the way that works for them.
I live in the community now.
I am independent but also near family.
I have a support package too.
I am still scared of being sectioned in the future.
I think we need to join together as neurodivergent people.
We need to accept ourselves for who we are.
And the government and other people need to protect our freedom.
Neurodivergent means someone whose brain works differently to most people’s.
This might be ADHD, autism, or a learning difficulty. It can be many other things, too.