Archive for the 'Sectioned' Category

25
Jul
09

councillor’s mental health problems put to good use

'Councillor Potts uses his own mental health experiences to help himself'

'Councillor Potts uses his own mental health experiences to help himself'

Cleadon and East Boldon councillor David Potts who has a history of mental illness is hoping he can use his own experiences to change people’s perception of mental illness.

Councillor Potts, who is till trying to get his life in order after being detained under section 4 of the Mental Health Act following his deselection as the prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate in the Labour held Edinburgh South constituency at the next General Election, is now backing a national campaign to get a section of the Mental Health Act, which states an MP can never sit in Parliament if they suffer a nervous breakdown while in office, changed.

Under Section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983, an MP automatically loses their seat if detained under the Act for a period of 6 months or more.

He said: “how can this be fair? Basically what this says to people is, if like me, you’ve suffered from a mental health problem, your opinions will never be valid again”.

He went on to say, “this means that people who have the most experience of the system cannot change the system.

“When I was about 14 I started getting very depressed and became paranoid and I’ve had to cope with these feelings ever since. Things became extremely difficult for my family after I tried to kill myself and as you can imagine, I wasn’t a very pleasant person to be around”

“Eventually, my mam took me to the local hospital to see one of the doctors there and he said he wanted me to go into hospital. They basically said to me I could either go voluntarily, or I could be sectioned for up to six months.”

Councillor Potts, who is a self employed financial trader and lives in West Boldon, spent the next few months in hospital, is backing a national campaign by mental health charity Rethink, to raise awareness of mental health issues with MPs. 

He said: “I am taking a big risk being so open about my mental health problems and there are things people can and I am sure will, say, it could also be the end of my politial ambitions, but if you go through something like this, you should be allowed to have your say.

“It’s essential that people who have experienced the system should be allowed to shape it”.

23
Jul
09

councillor sectioned following sacking

'Councillor Potts cannot cope with his demons'

'Councillor Potts cannot cope with his demons'

A year ago councillor David Potts was a rising star in the Conservative party after being selected as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate to stand against the Chancellor, Alistair Darling at the next general election.

Many Scottish Conservatives reckoned that he was destined for great things and even councillor David Potts believed that he would – at the very least become a  minister in the new Conservative administration – that was until Mr Monkey revealed his antics here in South Tyneside to the world.

Within months of exposing the ‘real David Potts’ any ambitions he had to make it to Westminster were over. The Scottish Conservatives took the unusual step of effectively sacking him by removing him as their candidate and replacing him with Edinburgh councillor, Jason Rust who ironically had been pictured with David Potts on a number of occasions.

Councillor Potts found it difficult to come to terms with this rejection and his life quickly spiralled downwards.

Publicly he tried to convince the world that he had ‘resigned’ because of his father’s ill health and when it was pointed out to him by people who knew his father that this wasn’ttrue, he changed his story and claimed that the real reason he resigned was so that he could return to South Tyneside to fight the far right threat posed by the BNP.

He attended one meeting hosted by the leader of South Tyneside Council and to date no further meetings have been held.

Those close to councillor Potts feared for his safety and mental wellbeing as his behaviour became more erratic. They noticed that his drink problem had became more profound, he started to talk to imaginary beings and became increasing paranoid – he thought he was being followed by monkeys and started to see chimps everywhere.

This paranoia was coupled with depression, something he had suffered from as a child. He found it difficult to cope with and eventually retreated into his own world, he refused to answer his telephone, speak to anyone and then disappeared.

Some people thought he’d gone on holiday but Mr Monkey can now reveal that he returned to Scotland in an attempt to tackle his Edinburgh demons, but bottled it at the last minute and ended up in Glasgow.

He thought he was safe there where he could hide amongst the down and outs, tramps, alcoholics and drug addicts – that was until a jogger spotted him in the infamous Glasgow Green on the banks of the Clyde and called the police.

Apparently when the police arrived they found him unconscious on a park bench dressed in khaki shorts, a beige tshirt and a pith helmet. He was surrounded by a dozen toy monkeys, some of which had been mutilated and a fluffy chimp hanging from the tree above him in what appeared to have been a mock execution.

When the police roused him he refused to acknowledge their presence, pulled out a water pistol and started to ‘shoot’ the toy monkeys. He even tried to kiss and cuddle 2 blue monkeys which he kept referring to us Maggie and Smeagol.

At this point the police decided to ‘protect’ him and took him to the Gartnavel Royal Hospital where he was detained under section 4 of the Mental Health Act.

Mr Monkey can reveal that councillor Potts – who has a history of mental illness – is now hoping he can use his own experiences to change people’s perception of menal health and is campaigning for the law to be changed.

PART 2 WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY