Standing up to bullies can be tough. This weekend, when I stood up to one Twitter bully – forensic mental health nurse “E”, tweeting using the account in her pug dog Lenny Hems, @Fart_Pug – I was called a bully and a hypocrite, reported for abuse & lost followers. And that’s just Twitter.
Imagine if it’s your workplace, so what’s at stake isn’t an anonymous Twitter account that be closed at will but your job, your mortgage, your career? That’s a powerful incentive to keep quiet; to walk on by. But that’s where we get toxic environments like those at Winterbourne view developing and persisting.
It’s because we know of the inbuilt power imbalance, and the risks to whistle-blowers, that lots of other measures are in place to support the fostering of a healthy working and therapeutic environment on inpatient psychiatric wards.
We know that when we put one group of people in charge of another, the latter not only vulnerable but without credibility, and locked in out of sight, the risks of bullying behaviour are magnified. Inpatient psychiatric wards can be a playground for bullies.
Below – in my first venture into Storify – is a series of tweets I sent over the weekend. Not perfect, but a good start at expressing what I mean.