Another valuable posting from Andrew Roberts of Survivor History and research (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I managed to get to the last day of the Hackney museum exhibition
Responses To Mental Health in Hackney, Present and Past
12 February - 25 May
Core Arts, the group that organised this, have created a book about it. The printed version costs £30, but the e-book is free. I attach your copy.
For general survivor history see the creative journey of Frank Bangay (dealing with MPU in 1970s London and PROMPT and CAPO in the 1980s)
and the Mad Pride notes of Mark Roberts, which bring the story up to the present resistance to welfare reform.
Every story in this book is (in my opinion) worth reading many times, and every piece of art worth looking at many times. Some of the art work was much more effective in the exhibition, but I have found other pieces more effective when I looked at the book which is here on the Core Arts website
Issues relating to welfare reform, and the survivor movement, in England have been raised by Joanna Care in the debate about psychiatric labelling on the Mad in America blog at
This starts with an important statement by Jacqui Dillon, the Hearing Voices Network chair, and includes a Press Release from Hearing Voices about debating psychiatric diagnoses. The participants also include Chrys Muirhead of Peer Support Fife, who have their own website:
http://www.peersupportfife.org.uk/ which you will probably want to read.
In her blog, Jacqui Dillon says about being hospitalised "If I wanted to get better, I "must accept my diagnosis and take medication" and then they would give me welfare benefits and a free bus pass. I wouldn´t ever recover."
It is this point that Joanna Care responds to. She says "The only point I´d take issue with you on Jacqui is "I "must accept my diagnosis and take medication" and then they would give me welfare benefits and a free bus pass", that´s often something people do not easily acquire and not a helpful statement in the current UK climate given what a judge recently said:
what research is revealing:
and how in addition housing issues are directly impacting on victims
A number of judicial reviews have been heard and are being sought including demands for the minster to answer for his persistent lies on statistics, so I would ask that you consider very carefully what you say on those issues given these issues are pressing very hard on some people and few survivor groups are speaking out about it, it´s the physical disability groups who have been most active. Bus passes are being taken away on grounds of "mental illness", and welfare assessments have been shown to be prejudiced against people defined as "mentally ill", and the `Work Programme´ offers no specialist support to people who have survived psychiatry"
It seems to me that there are a number of issues we could usefully discuss here in relation to forming ideas about the survivor movement in the 21st century.
[There is a lot more in the blog from Joanna and others. Please take the time to look. I have just picked out one point.]