A fund-raising campaign to help fund a review of the detention of an Aberdeenshire man held in Scotland’s state psychiatric hospital has raised £1,460.
Tracey Gibbon, from Kemnay, asked the public to donate via a Just Giving page to make the case for her son Kyle to return home from Carstairs, where he has been detained for 13 years.
Kyle was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has been housed with the criminally insane, where he has been subject to bullying from other patients and has suffered injuries whilst being restrained by staff.
The family have been working with Scottish Conservative MSP Alexander Burnett, who has raised the case with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and the Minister for Mental Health.
Mr Burnett has called for a review into each case of an autistic patient detained in a medical institution, and has campaigned for a shift from hospitalisation to community-based support where appropriate.
The money raised, 48% of the total needed, will now go towards payment for a specialist independent psychiatric report into Kyle’s treatment and detention.
Mrs Gibbon said: “I am eternally grateful to everyone who has donated, I just hope we can now work towards a review for Kyle and that he will be home with me soon.
“Kyle has never been committed of a crime, and it breaks my heart that he doesn’t have the freedom to call me when he is upset or visit his nieces and nephews, he has missed out on so much.
“The public’s reaction and support to his story has been overwhelming and very touching, my family and I really appreciate everything and we will continue to fight for Kyle to be released and cared for in the best way possible for his needs”.
Gary McIlravey, the solicitor acting on behalf of the Gibbon family, added: “The monies will be applied to payment for a specialist independent psychiatric report for Kyle to ascertain, firstly, whether the criteria for detention still apply and, secondly, if that is the case, whether the current treatment regime constitutes the least restrictive option for the provision of Kyle's care and treatment, all with a view to possible appeal thereafter.”
Mr Burnett, MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said: “First and foremost, I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support and interest in Kyle’s case, this money will make a significant dent in the legal fees required for the review.
“Many people are outraged that this treatment continues to exist in the 12st century.
“I will continue to pursue a shift in policy and practice for treating and managing autism, through my role in the Scottish Parliament and campaigning with autistic people, their families and relevant charities.
“I look forward to conclusions on the review on Kyle’s sectioning, and the independent investigation currently being carried out by the SPSO.”