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Voices of Experience - Narratives of Mental Health Survivors


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Table of Contents

About the Editors vii

Contributors viii

1. Introduction 1
Thurstine Basset and Theo Stickley

Poem: Recovery - Libby Jackson 12

2. The Antidote to Madness: Crystallising out the Real Self 13
Peter Chadwick

Poem: But What is the Cause? - Libby Jackson 20

3. Surviving the System 21
Peter Campbell

Poem: They Come and Go - Dave St. Clair 31

Poem: Fixing Dinner - Dave St. Clair 32

4. Measuring the Marigolds 33
Alison Faulkner

Poem: The Tears I Cry - Mariyam Maule 45

5. Coping Strategies and Fighting Stigma 46
Joy Pope

Poem: Day by Day - Libby Jackson 57

6. Living with the Dragon: The Long Road to Self-Management of Bipolar II 58
Peter Amsel

Poem: In Exile - Mariyam Maule 75

7. Coping Strategies 76
Ruth Dee

Poem: Puppeteer - Esta Smith 84

8. What's it Like Having a Nervous Breakdown? Can You Recover? 85
Laura Lea

Poem: A Journey beyond Silence - Mariyam Maule 94

9. The Bridge of Sighs and the Bridge of Love: a Personal Pilgrimage 95
Peter Gilbert

Poem: Have You Ever Felt Lonely? - Dave St. Clair, 114

Poem: He Saved My Bacon - Dave St. Clair 115

10. The Holy Spirit - Healer, Advocate, Guide and Friend 116
Richard Lilly

Poem: Mist of Tears - Brice Jones 120

11. CAPITAL Writings 121
Thomas France, Timothy Bird, Richard Love, Kay Phillpot, Howard Pearce, Clare Ockwell and Jude Smith

Poem: Nicely Nicely Nought - Martin Snape 141

Poem: Feel Easy-Fit - Martin Snape 141

12. The Value of Self-Help/Peer Support 142
Caroline Bell, Sarah Collis and Joan Cook

Poem: The Clear Sky - Dave St. Clair 151

13. A Recovery Approach in Mental Health Services: Transformation, Tokenism or Tyranny? 152
Premila Trivedi

Poem: To What Could Have Been - Mariyam Maule 164

14. Stand to Reason 165
Jonathan Naess

Poem: I Am - Libby Jackson 173

15. Walking with Dinosaurs 174
John Stuart Clark

Poem: Negatives and Positives - Libby Jackson 182

16. Conclusions, Discussion and Ways Ahead 183
Thurstine Basset, Joan Cook and Theo Stickley

Poem: The Heart of Humankind - Mariyam Maule 192

Index 193

About the Author

Thurstine Basset is a social worker who now runs his ownindependent training and development consultancy. His currentclients include the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Educationnot Discrimination at Rethink. He is the Chair of the Mental HealthTraining Forum, Middlesex University and a Visiting Fellow at theUniversity of Brighton. Together with Theo Stickley, he is jointeditor of Teaching Mental Health (Wiley, 2007) and Learning About Mental Health Practice (Wiley, 2008). Theo Stickley is Associate Professor of Mental Health inthe School of Nursing at the University of Nottingham. Previously,he trained and worked in both mental health nursing andcounselling. Theo has led on a number of educational researchprojects in collaboration with people who use mental healthservices. He uses narrative as a research method, especiallyamongst people engaging with arts activities. He leads the EastMidlands Arts and Health Research Group; he is also a Director ofCity Arts, Nottingham, and leads the Art in Mind programme ofwork.


"The book has much to offer therapists who counsel those recoveringand their carers, although its primary target is other mental health professionals and researchers."(Therapy Today, 1 September 2011) "They would also read of the value of the support provided byothers who demonstrate empathy and compassion. I highly recommendthis book and am happy to say a copy is now available in UWE'sGlenside library." (University of the West of England, 1 September2011) "Appealing to both practitioners and patients, the book featuresstories and poems on surviving/recovering from mental illness,coping strategies, and recovery/discovery (the latter termpreferred by some)." (Booknews, 1 February 2011) "One of the unique strengths of the book is that it straddlesthe usual divide between "professional" and "survivor" literature.Whilst the contributors are all service users or survivors, manyare also workers or academics, and the thoughtful introductionrelates the contributors' ideas to current debates... I wouldrecommend this book to all service users, survivors, mental healthworkers and students." (Open Mind, July/August 2011) "First-person narrative accounts of illness form a substantialproportion of the literature... (these) narratives form aninteresting and well-edited collection." (Journal of Mental Health,December 2011)

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