Mount Carmel Graduates launch “Mount Carmel Works” at the Houses of Parliament (May 2012)

The following is a statement from Mount Carmel Works, the campaign group of the graduates of Mount Carmel, at their launch in the Houses of Parliament in April 2012

 

Mount Carmel Works!

Mission Statement

  • “To ensure that all who need to know are aware of the invaluable contribution Mount Carmel has made to re-establishing a meaningful existence and saving the lives of incalculable numbers of people dependent on alcohol and returning them to their families and communities as worthwhile contributors to society.
  • “And further to ensure that decision-makers, opinion-formers and fund-holders are aware of the value and cost-effectiveness of the service Mount Carmel offers in delivering abstinence based, twelve-step, multi-disciplinary, life-long recovery programmes. In this way we hope to ensure that Mount Carmel continues to be able to offer the life-giving chance that was available to us for as long as there are chronic persistent alcohol abusers out there thirsting for recovery.”

Mount Carmel Works! – our campaign narrative

Mount Carmel Works! is a campaign group set up by ‘graduates’ of Mount Carmel’s recovery programme that strives to achieve the above mission statement. It is wholly independent of Mount Carmel, though it tries to ensure that all facets of the campaign are in harmony with Mount Carmel’s principles, its way of working and the wishes of the Mount Carmel staff and management committee teams.

Numbering around a hundred active members, we are all alcoholics in recovery (from 6months up to 20 years+ sobriety and abstinence!) who found long-term sobriety, frequently after many failed attempts, following treatment at Mount Carmel. We were all chronic and persistent alcoholics and many of us had ‘cross addictions’ with drugs and other harmful behaviours (e.g. gambling); many of us also had a ‘dual diagnosis’ of an accompanying mental health problem and most of us had had dealings with the criminal courts of varying levels of seriousness. For us, long-term abstinence was the only appropriate treatment goal. We are all too aware of those who ‘didn’t make it’ either because they never found their way into treatment or who could not accept the rigorous programme Mount Carmel necessarily offers. Most of us have been to more funerals than would normally be expected of people our age and we have witnessed first hand the misery the illness of alcoholism has inflicted on the sufferer and on their families, friends, employers, community and society at large.

In the autumn of 2011 we became aware that, because of its first-rate reputation and success rate, care managers who were very keen to send clients to Mount Carmel, due to its first-rate reputation and success rate were commenting that, due to cuts in public spending, they were finding it increasingly difficult to secure the necessary funding. We were also aware of the fact that many rehab facilities had had to close. As past clients we were determined that Mount Carmel should not be one of those, and so we banded together to form our campaign. Our motivation was gratitude for the precious gift that Mount Carmel had given us and compassion for the still suffering alcoholic who we wished to have the opportunity we had.

To date we have carried out a survey of one hundred Mount Carmel graduates from which we ascertained some indicative data of the cost our illness imposed on the public purse through the health services, criminal justice system, social service and housing provision.

Next we organised an ‘official launch’ of our campaign at the House of Commons, thanks to the assistance of the Right Honourable Sadiq Khan MP. This launch will signify the start of the ‘Hit Squads’ – groups of three or four graduates who will seek to have a meeting with the ‘commissioning body’ that funded their treatment at Mount Carmel to show them what they got for their money – and will see the ‘going live’ of the Mount Carmel Works! website - www.mountcarmelworks.org