Hi, my name is Amber. I am a 20 year old
Mixed Race/Black woman who is part of the LGBTQ+ community (Bisexual).
I am an aspiring alternative model. I am also in the process of creating my own alternative clothing brand.
I am obsessed with art, fashion & music and it is my dream to make a living off of my art as well as get to exhibit my work in galleries around the world!
Five words I would use to describe me are; passionate, artistic, ambitious, resilient and compassionate.
(I have put some of my art below)
Now about my mom.
Her favourite animals are Elephants.
(Below are some cute elephant items I got her as an xmas gift).
(Letter got a bit wet!)
Before she became 'unwell' she had been passionate about drama and also art like me.
My mom Persephone (I have changed her name for her safety) has spent the past 5 months in a Care Home.
On 31st January, Shropshire Council will end her Housing Benefits which will stop the rent being paid.
This will effectively make both of us “Legally Homeless” .
The main goal for this GoFund Me is to;
1) First & foremost raise money for accommodation for myself & her.
2) Any additional funding would be used for; Access to Private Psychotherapy & Physical + Mental Healthcare that would dramatically improve both of our emotional & physical wellbeing.
Examples could include, access to specialist departments or services such as; Neurology, Rheumatology, Dental Care, Creative Therapy, Psychotherapy etc.
3) Possibly Legal Funds regarding the 'Housing Act' and 'Capacity Act'. (info further down).
As a result of this the Housing Association will serve an Eviction Notice if the rent goes into arrears & is not paid. I will then have 2 months to find somewhere to store all of our possessions (Will likely have to pay monthly for a large storage space).
Mental Illness is genetic in my family & something we both suffer from to a Severe Degree. (due to a combination of both Genetic & Environmental factors).
For me, I have been a sufferer of (SMI) Severe Mental Health issues since 12-13.
This is in the form of; Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Severe Depression (Suicidal Ideation at 14-15), Panic Attacks (Started age 19).
In addition in 2019 I experienced ‘First Episode Psychosis’ & had a Clinical Psychotic Breakdown. This was due to “rare” SSRI antidepressant medication withdrawal side effects, severe self-neglect, chronic stress & a traumatic event in which I was a Victim Of Crime.
As a result of this I went on experiencing psychosis for 2-3 months until I was found by Police in a 'crisis'
situation & Sectioned under Section 2 of The Mental Health Act. (1983)
Current I am under the Early Intervention in Psychosis Team (EIT) as there are; “...concerns I may be in the early stages of relapse of a psychotic illness”.
(A purposefully blurry photograph taken by me of the ward corridor in August 2019).
From December 2018-August 2020 my Mom who has been suffering with her mental health for many years (Acute Anxiety & Panic Disorder, Severe Depression) was sectioned under Section 2 & then 3 of the Mental Health Act.
(1983). Her “treatment” whilst in her words ‘locked-up’ in this Psychiatric Facility directly led to an even further deterioration of her condition.
(This is an example of a room in a 'modern' Psychiatric Hospital. The windows have a huge metal grate over them preventing access to the outside. You turn the knob for the window (behind the grate) to open slightly, allowing you the tiniest amount of 'fresh' air.) - This is unethical. Can you see how easy it is to feel like you have done something being wrong considering you are effectively being 'imprisoned' against your will.
(I remember pressing my face against the grate hopelessly, like a caged animal. My attempt to receive further fresh air & also to see what the ominous shouting and screaming was from outside...).
(How on earth is anyone's mental wellbeing meant to be improved when they feel they are serving a prison sentence for which there was no crime they are simply ill).
As a result she has now spent the past 5 months in a Care Home at only 55 years of age.
She told me that she still feels 'institutionalised and has no privacy'.
As she is on Housing Benefits the Government’s ‘52 week rule’ states that if a Tenant is not home for more than a year legally the Council can stop paying the Housing Benefits.
According to the Housing Officer and Council I have no legal rights to the house as it’s not my Tenancy.
I am currently trying to find a loophole surrounding this.
My mom has told me she has a ‘Fixed Tenancy’ therefore she should still have some Legal Rights to keep her home. (I am looking into this currently).
A Volunteer from Shelter (A UK National Homeless Organisation) sent me this information (above) for advice via an email;
“Although the ‘52 week rule’ may indirectly discriminate against hospital patients suffering from severe mental illness due to the increased likelihood of such claimants being detained for longer than 52 weeks, the Court Of Appeal held that the rule was not manifestly without reasonable foundation, and for entitlement to housing benefit to cease in those circumstances.”
I can guarantee when this rule was being made the Court did not think about Single Parent families with Children or those classes as ‘Vulnerable Young Adults’ (e.g those with Complex Mental Health needs, Learning Disabilities ect).
Even though she has ESA money she has not spent due to her being detained in hospital with no access to her funds The Council & the Law will not ALLOW me to pay the rent with this due to “Adult Safeguarding Policies”.
MENTAL HEALTH CAPACITY ACT;
This is because of the ‘Mental Health Capacity Act’
This means legally she has been declared as not having the capacity to make her own decisions.
This means that all of her rights have been taken from her and her ‘Best Interests’ are controlled by and decided by Governmental Authorities and Adult Social Care (NHS).
This sounds extreme and it is. A “Deprivation of Liberty & Safeguards” form was signed effectively meaning she is not in control of her own freedom.
In my opinion such laws are in a direct violation of the Human Rights Act (1998).
They are unethical and dehumanise a person entirely.
As her ‘Nearest Relative’ and her Biological Daughter even I have less Legal rights to help her than the Government. This is unless I directly file a document to the ‘Court Of Protection’ to legally become her ‘Deputy’.
(A process I am considering but with my own mental health would need Legal Expertise for help with this application).
MENTAL HEALTH CAPACITY ACT (2005) - Mental Capacity Act 2005 Wikipedia
MENTAL HEALTH ACT (1983) - Mental Health Act 1983 Wikipedia
MENTAL HEALTH ACT AMENDED (2007) Mental Health Act 2007 Wikipedia
DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY & SAFEGUARDS - The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (publishing.service.gov.uk)
HOMELESS ACT (1996,2002, 2008,2017,2018) - Homelessness Code of Guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- Jahx Beckles
- Jess J
- India Denne
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