Dispatches airs a new episode tonight Friday 24 March 2023 on Channel 4.
“Locked Away: Our Autism Scandal” For the first time, autistic patients confined to mental health facilities share their experiences in their own words in this intimate and enlightening documentary by award-winning autistic filmmaker Richard Butchins.
Patient-made movies uploaded anonymously to the filmmaker reveal a healthcare system in distress. This describes the experience of many autistic inpatients. Some of them spend years locked away in inappropriate wards and hospitals all around the United Kingdom.
Butchins explains that throughout his own mental health crises, he avoided seeking help from specialists for fear of becoming trapped in the system. Three adults with autism and their families visit him in the hospital. Everyone shares heartbreaking accounts of their time in the hospital.
Though she is only 25, one lady describes her life behind bars. Some patients report that their health has actually worsened throughout their extended hospital stays.
Furthermore, many report being mistreated and even abused by employees. ‘People need to speak out and so many voices are silenced,’ observes one young woman, who’s still an inpatient. ‘I feel like that’s my duty to do, not just for myself, but for others because it’s not going to change if… it’s not going to change if it’s not spoken about and we need to be heard.’
Airdate: Friday 24 March 2023 at 8.00pm on Channel 4.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 4
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