As everyone starts to feel the vice of lockdown ease off just that little bit, Ed & Stu took some time to reflect on what the last few months has entailed for RMN Behaving Badly.
As Covid-19 engulfed the UK, everyone (other than the Government, the millionaire directors of a sports apparel retailer & a man who sells cut price booze) recognised that we would have to lock ourselves away. The public seemed to understand what was needed; it was time to think as a community rather than as individuals.
That was when the ‘live-pods‘ came into being, a mechanism to reach out to our RMNBB community. The plan was simple; bring people together at a time when isolation & loneliness began to take hold for many. When the pressure of work was becoming the new normal and when a good PRN laugh was required STAT!
Over the course of ten weeks we hosted 4 live events joined by an array of talented comedians John Scott, Susanne Morrison, Suzie McCabe & Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley). Murdo Mitchell, an outstanding young singer songwriter joined us, wowing the audience with his own material & sharing the Baldy Heid song (I’m working on forgiving him – Ed).
Our most recent guest Darren McGarvey, award winning author of Poverty Safari, spoke passionately and eloquently about his views on the socio-political landscape of the UK. Darren highlighted what might be done to better engage those communities abandoned on the periphery of capitalism, and the ways in which we Mental Health Nurses might gain greater insight into individuals living subject to the most appalling inequality.
Our fabulous group of Patrons have also grown since we launched our Patreon page in May. With 27 regular patrons & several associated private sponsors (sadly nothing from Highland Park yet…) we are now able to sustain our communication networks, develop our technology & pay guests for their time & talent.
As the world powers on regardless of Covid19 and the vast inequalities on our society are laid bare, Ed & Stu are keen to use RMN Behaving Badly as a means of positively influencing the social, political & environmental landscape for MH Nurses & the communities we work within.
Inequality manifests itself in so many forms, some subtle, others overt. The distressing & utterly heinous acts perpetrated upon the late George Floyd (tragically only the most recent in a litany of discriminatory extrajudicial executions) has brought to the fore the grotesque presence of racism in our society, our profession & institutions. It would be inconceivable to allow the momentum generated by the Black Lives Matter movement to be lost.
As a member of the Nursing family, MH Nurses know only to well the variances in treatment & application of the law often elicited upon BAME patients. We are also sorely aware of the disproportionate number of our Nursing Brothers & Sisters who have lost their lives whilst caring for people throughout the pandemic, our thoughts are with them, their families, friends & colleagues.
As RMN Behaving Badly grows, so Ed & Stuart want to ensure that we can do more than just bring these issues to the fore, debate them & challenge them; we want to develop a tangible response to tackling inequalities wherever they may be found.
We have yet to discuss the blight of homelessness, the state of prison care & its inherent lack of rehabilitation, or the connections between drug dependency, drug deaths & disillusionment of so many citizens in the UK. We need to talk about services for children, those with complex needs and raising the profile of nurses in care provided. And we need to talk about making nurses’ voices louder and more persuasive than the truth-twisting perpetuators of the status quo (And Status Quo as well, they have a LOT to answer for – Ed).
To help us take our next steps we will be hosting a Patron Chat in the very near future to draw on their experiences & expertise. We hope to harness their input to develop a manifesto; a ‘road-map’ if you will of where we can take RMN Behaving Badly & upon what we will focus our energies. We might even collate it into a little red book…
Stay safe, don’t forget to subscribe, and we’ll speak to you soon.
Stuart & Ed