Our brains are naturally very good at adapting and responding to our environments. That is, after all, how we’ve survived (in an evolutionary sense), but these built-in adaptive processes are still very apparent day-to-day. Read more
Compassion (noun): a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Towards the end of last week in deepest west Wales, something remarkable happened. It was a gathering of people who share a passion for compassion and a hunger to see more of it in the way we approach health, specifically mental health. It seems a cruel irony that at a time when people most need a compassionate response, all too often feel unheard, disconnected and disempowered from the very systems supposed to help. Read more
Feeling disconnected and misunderstood I took a last minute decision to go to the Compassionate Mental Health Conference in Wales last week. I’d had such an affirmative experience there back in March I felt It would be just the medicine I needed to restore me and nurture me. Read more
Not long out of hospital again, where I received little care.
Feeling powerless and hopeless and so full of despair.
My ‘life’ has been traumatic, distressing, I long to be free.
Yet, I don’t deserve kindness from others, let alone me! Read more
Over the last 40 years as a dissident therapist and activist, I’ve known many people who were so negatively impacted by their subjective experience of receiving and indefinitely enduring a psychiatric diagnosis that I’ve come to see such dehumanising labeling as the infliction of what amounts to a medical curse.
We live in troubled times. Prejudice, oppression, poverty, climate change, and nuclear war affect everyone simultaneously thanks to the internet and TV. We see more and yet are more fragmented and powerless. These factors are creating trauma for everyone. Most people are now in a state of dissociation in which their feelings and emotions are severed from their thoughts.
Those of us with lived experience of recovery from trauma through extreme emotional states labelled mental illness are offering a gift. We have learned that our recovery from trauma is helped by three simple phases: emotional connection, emotional empowerment and emotional revitalization. We call this process emotional CPR (eCPR). Read more
I learned that there’s a great divide
And some cross to the other side.
I was seven and a quarter
When they parted mum from daughter,
Separating the ‘sane’ from ‘mad’
Oblivious to love she had.
They came with their blue flashing light
And drugged her forcibly that night.
I learned that lesson. Read more
A long-awaited compassionate take on ‘mental health’ is gaining momentum – join us on 4th-5th October to find out more!
On November 18th 2016 “some 100 people concerned to change the face of mental health care in this country gathered for an inspiring one-day conference run by Compassionate Mental Health … Part of the growing movement looking beyond the bio-medical model to centre, instead, on the need for compassion – importantly compassion for self as well as for others – the day set out to inform, inspire and empower both people working with mental distress and those, themselves, living with it. The impressive range of speakers focused on the need to move away from an assumption that emotional distress was nothing more than a symptom of biological illness. Walking alongside the person with compassion was more effective than electric shocks and long-term medication, they emphasised”. Read more
A few years ago I organised a public meeting about suicide. To spread the word, I put up posters around my town with the question, ‘How do we live with suicidal ideas?’ printed across them. The manager of a local launderette started taking the posters down. He said he was banning me from advertising on his premises because he was upset by that question.
Some 100 people concerned to change the face of mental health care in this country gathered for an inspiring one-day conference run by Compassionate Mental Health, that gave people the chance to hear leading voices in this urgent debate that has, finally, forced itself on to the agenda and to share their own experiences and hopes.