Unconventional Views About Mental Health

This article by Dr. Evgeny Legedin has been published by Mad in the UK. It follows complaints against him by four other psychiatrists because of his non-mainstream views. These complaints led to his employment being terminated – a decision that was eventually reversed. The article begins:

“I am Dr Evgeny Legedin. In 2011, I left Putin’s Russia because I was an outspoken defender for human rights as one of the leaders of an anti-government youth organisation in Yekaterinburg. I came to the UK as a refugee. I was initially detained until her Majesty’s Government found a use for me as a doctor. I have had to sleep in attics with no central heating, covering myself with boxes and could not share this experience with anybody because I have no family here.

I moved to Scotland as part of my foundation programme. For me, this was no accident as it is for many trainees. I came here after I read Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Legend of Montrose, and I drew many positive parallels between Scots and Russians. Since then, it is my great sadness to learn that many students and doctors really do not want to be here, and often cry when they find out that they are working in Scotland. Furthermore, I understand that psychiatry is a profession in crisis with a severe shortage of consultants and trainee doctors. I applied to be here because this profession means everything to me.

In 2017-2019 I was doing foundation programme (FY2) and core training (CT1) in Adult Psychiatry and I am currently working as Second Year Foundation doctor in Adult Psychiatry in one of the Scottish Health Boards.

In 20 months working in psychiatry, I was frustrated to see the people experiencing a first episode of psychosis admitted again and again. I was constantly reflecting on what we could do to prevent relapses. In Autumn 2018, the results of a 19-year study on the use of an Open Dialogue approach from Finland were published. In this study, doctors in Western Lapland achieved higher remission rate and high re-employment in comparison to the rest of Finland and the developed world at large. It grabbed my attention as quite a promising approach in treatment, based on family intervention and targeted use of benzodiazepines and neuroleptics. I presented this study to a journal club in psychiatric Hospital and I’ve attended a one-day workshop in London, organised by Open Dialogue UK. I heard about a dozen trusts, where some of the teams apply principles of Open Dialogue and a randomised-controlled study on Open Dialogue has started in this year in the UK. The relatives and a representative of a patients’ organisation attended this workshop in London, asked the same question; ‘when this treatment will be available in their Trusts’? …”

You can read more from here.

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