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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #303 - Social, Medico-social: The head against the walls (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Sat, 28 Mar 2020 10:14:25 +0300
Dozens of kilometers driving each day, in rural areas, between two patients. Listen, support in their efforts people suffering from a mental
handicap. Reverse and despite an institution in full decline. A UCL sympathizer, educator specializing in a support service in an open
environment, denounces managerial and societal mistreatment. ---- Ten years of psychiatry. I accompany adults in great mental suffering,
suffering from illnesses, invisible disabilities. Young and old, men and women, children of the elderly and parents of young children or
adolescents. My work is supposed to help all these people to (re) balance their relationship to themselves and to the world. Succeed in
dealing with all of this: illness, the eyes of others, treatments, distorted perceptions, banishment from society, anxieties ...
Build something serene that can last as long as possible, without harming those around you. It is through the weekly meetings that
confidence is built. To manage to be accepted gently in their daily life, that our presence is soothing, reassuring, containing. The
kilometers separating the homes allow me to take stock and refocus on the following intervention: what happened the last time, where were we
? In what state will I find the person with whom I have an appointment ?
The basic weapon of the educator is speech, the words that he or she manages to ask the other with the objective that it helps him to
continue living. Real daily cooking, with the ingredients of the day. We also put in what we are, with our own characters, our limits, and
this burning desire to gain a little peace with them.
But over the years, I've seen the marinade go sour. First, the social, economic and political fabric, then the institutional context that
has stuck to politics.
The support needs are increasing - we are working just in time - but the means have been dramatically reduced. For Departmental Educational
Assistance (AED, these are child protection follow-ups), only " dusting " can be done since the people who work there are overwhelmed,
following on average 45 files! The whole service is in this image, understaffed.
In an atmosphere of general resignation, it is difficult to fight against abuses and profiteers. A person receiving only the disabled adult
allowance (AAH, 860 euros per month) sees his bank systematically reject certain direct debits in order to force them two weeks later, and
at the same time take him 100 euros in agios !
I make an appointment with the bank to accompany the person concerned. At the departmental center for access to rights, the lawyer informs
us that " she knows, it is unfair, but it is the law ". Suffice to say that during the meeting, the bank does not want to hear anything, no
arrangement is possible...
We are forced to let go, because no lever exists. So we try to do the best ; we search with and for the person concerned what could suit
him. Make sense of what you do. But the picture that takes shape then sickens me. Few conscientious colleagues are ready to make a real
commitment to carry out our missions. As if the mere fact of working in this sector exonerates us from fighting for more justice and equality.
Specialized educators in an open environment (here, in Haute-Vienne) intervene when the family situation is difficult, to support parents
and children with disabilities.
Today, on my antenna, it misses a post of educator. The partial times chosen allow us to slow down a bit, to stop running. Some and some
manage to pass on the field work to others by hiding behind administrative " obligations ". In fact, the colleague promoted as "quality
specialist " is working dynamically to ensure that we have plenty of our schedules. This new function especially allows him to no longer be
in the field.
Multiplication of social control tools
Psychiatric illnesses distort reality and dehumanize, in the anthropological sense, the people affected. It is for many by the relation to
others that the maintenance among the congeners is carried out. Commitment and analysis to raise awareness of our posture. It is also part
of our job to get someone out of the closet where they have hidden by trying to escape themselves.
Two very distinct practices, two sides of social work: on the one hand, delicate contact, regular meetings, moments of non-frightening, if
not pleasant, sharing, solidarity and professional commitment. On the other hand, social control. Today, the former is no longer popular,
those who practice it are mocked and accused of amateurism ; the second is seriously on the rise.
Under the pretext of quality and funding, a multiplication of software and administrative tools are imposed on us. It is now a question of
giving patients life lessons, normalizing them and recording all the information down to the last millimeter of their life. Filing and
intrusion. It is no longer possible for me to exercise my profession today as I learned it and as I consider it fair and consistent with my
Psychic handicapped at work: too many obstacles, too much abuse
Social recognition, unfortunately, requires a lot of work. Certain procedures lead us to support people towards employment. Between the Pôle
Emploi advisers who offer positions that do not meet the conditions set by the Departmental House for the Disabled (MDPH, ex-Cotorep) and
the too many administrative filters of establishments and work assistance services (Esat, ex- CAT), people's desires to (re) find a job have
become increasingly unachievable.
Waiting list of several months when there is hope, multi-party agreements to contract, ever more serious difficulties in obtaining the
In the service where I work, only 5% of the people supported work: a few in the ordinary environment, the majority in Esat. But in these
medico-social structures, their status is bastard: they and they are above all "users" of the institution.
Not falling under the Labor Code, they can claim nothing. I saw an Esat restauration require the presence of its employees 30 minutes before
hiring and 30 after debauchery. One hour of unpaid work per day ! Why are so few of us denouncing this form of slavery ?
Many people with disabilities only accept it to fight isolation and put some butter in the spinach.
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