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Chy-Sawel is Cornish for ‘House of Health giving’ which rather aptly describes the aim of primary aim of the Chy Sawel Project, to establish a Treatment Centre that will provide respite from prescriptive medical practices. Instead Chy Sawel hopes to improve mental health, through a holistic approach, encompassing a nutritious diet, practical activities and exercise and talking therapies. Helping those have mental health problems, get their lives back.
For many years, there has been no adequate provision for the severely mentally ill in Cornwall. This has resulted in patients being placed in institutions in various parts of the country, which results in their separation from their families, both in terms of time and quite significant distances.
It was because of the plight of patients being treated hundreds of miles from home, that this project was born. Sandra Breakspeare, who is the founder and driving force behind Chy-Sawel, has experienced pain and frustration, as the condition of her son Anthony has gradually deteriorated over more than twenty years, despite the best efforts of medical professionals.
In that time, more sophisticated drugs have become available, offering many sufferers the chance of leading a ‘normal life’. Although it must be noted that current research indicates, some of the newer ‘wonder’ drugs have increasingly harmful side effects which were not previously evident.
This is because Anthony is one of a small but significant number of mental health patients, who for whatever reason, are resistant to the beneficial effects of the various pharmaceutical treatment options available and existing guidelines currently offer no alternatives options. The main consequence of this lack of alternative treatment is patients like Anthony are effectively condemned to a kind of medication induced ‘half-life’ where antipsychotic drugs prescribed, are suppressing not alleviating their symptoms. Such patients often become victims of the ‘revolving door syndrome’ forever in and out of care and institutions, where the one ‘door’ they truly desire , the exit that leads out of care and back into their lives, has been closed with little chance of re-opening.
The current approach favoured by the NHS, can help some severally ill patients to a very limited, chemically manageable form of recovery, but Chy Sawel aims to prove there are credible non pharmaceutical, alternative approaches, that will lead to better outcomes.
The holistic approach Chy Sawel advocates, has orthomolecular/nutritional medicine as its foundation, has a proven record of success (see Similar Projects) and whilst it is by no means a magic cure, these restorative methods do work. As we are only using natural substances surely there can be no valid reason for not making this option available. There are many psychiatric health professionals who are willing to adopt a nutritional approach in some form and, indeed, are privately doing so. Unfortunately, it is not ‘company policy’ so the majority of these doctors feel unable to continue but surely they are best placed to evaluate the situation, so if we can convince the ‘powers that be’ of our validity, the support is there. When it is accepted that there is an alternative treatment, we must insist that, as we live in a democracy where all citizens have the fundamental right of choice, these are circumstances where that choice must be exercised.