Rai Waddingham and I have written an Alternative Review of the Mental Health Act for Hearing Voices Network England.
You can check it out here.
I used to be able to read and write Japanese. Now, I can’t. I have lost a part of myself, and a part of Japan is lost to me.
I’ve had some really bruising and hurtful encounters this week. Reflecting on them, they feel very connected, to me, to being a woman and a feminist, and navigating a profoundly misogynistic world. It’s compounded by being a mother and a feminist. It goes beyond the invisible labour I perform and am expected to perform, the gender roles I am expected (and expect myself) to adhere to, beyond pink and blue toys, beyond the gender pay gap. It goes deep into how we construct motherhood, the constraints we place on the role, the way we glorify it and fetishise it and punish those who do not make the grade.Read More »
The Interim Report on the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act (MHA) has just been released. It has succeeded in being supremely ambitious in its breadth, whilst remaining disappointingly cautious in its goals. The emphasis is on smaller changes in the immediate future, and kicking more progressive reform into the long grass.
I am, for my sins, a conference person. I organise, speak at and attend many mental health conferences every year. But this week, I went along to Pushing Up Daisies, a ‘community-grown festival’ around death and dying, in the beautiful Yorkshire market town of Todmorden. I came away reflecting that we need to rethink some of the conversations we are having around mental health.
The rights of trans people and the barriers and discrimination they face in accessing healthcare and public spaces are issues which are growing in visibility in the UK. Recovery in the Bin’s statement of support, partially motivated by the protest at Pride in London, has highlighted some of the rifts around this, present in both the survivor movements and the more mainstream mental health world. It’s a laudably clear and simple statement, and, on paper, should attract a wide range of support – but it’s struggled to do so. The fact that it explicitly condemns transphobia has been divisive, and this exposes, for me, some uncomfortable truths about our mental health world.