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Straight-Talking Introduction to Being A Mental Health Service User

by Peter Beresford PCCS Books
Pub Date:
Pbk 142 pages
AU$28.99 NZ$29.56
Product Status: In Stock Now
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A pocket sized, good value series of succinct, thought provoking introductions ideal for students in all mental health disciplines, psychiatric service users, carers and indeed everyone with an interest in mental health.

Rather than accept that solutions to mental health problems are owned by the medical professions, these books look at alternatives and provide information so that the users of psychiatric services, their families and carers can make more decisions about their own lives. Becoming more active in mental health issues requires knowledge — this series of books is a starting point for anyone who wants to know more about mental health problems. These books also introduce ways of working collaboratively with doctors, psychiatrists and counsellors.

The authors are acknowledged leaders in their respective specialist fields with reputations for clear thinking, realistic, compassionate approaches and straight talking.

Being a Service User
Few of us would want to be a user of psychiatric services. It is a status associated with fear, stigma, isolation and disadvantage. This book takes a closer look at the realities for people and how to deal with them. It shows that what may begin as a painful and unwanted experience can pave the way for new understandings and life chances and how psychiatric service users are coming together to bring about changes benefiting us all.

Foreword: Jan Wallcraft Introduction Part One: 1. Setting the scene 2. The psychiatric system 3. The language of'mental health' Part Two: 4. The mental health service user/survivor movement 5. Mental health services and inequality 6. Issues of identity 7. From a medical to a social model Part Three: 8. Developing a new vision: Principles for the future 9. Developing a new vision: Survivor-led approaches to support 10.Developing a new vision: Routes to achieving change Part Four: Postscript: A broader view and next steps Endnote Contacts and resources Index

Whether you be a mental health service user/survivor or a worker in the field this book will provide you with a comprehensive yet quickly digestible account of the main issues relating to what is sometimes referred to as the 'service user movement'. It draws upon the work of well-known people in this field (e.g. Peter Campbell and Judi Chamberlin) as well as citing people who have not had their thoughts published before but thanks to the great body of research conducted by the author get a chance to communicate their wise reflections on what it is like to be a service user in the UK. Not only does the book describe service user/survivor critiques of existing services, it sets out ways in which service user-led services can provide the kinds of help that people actually want. It may surprise some people saturated in the rhetoric of evidence-based practice and NICE Guidelines (which prejudicially rate service user testimonies as the least powerful kind of evidence) to discover that alternatives that encompass the vast myriad of ways people can be helped, provided by people whose expertise relates to their experiences not academic qualifications, and that focus on social aswell as individual change, are a lot less mad than much of what goes on in mental health services today. Dr Guy Holmes, Clinical Psychologist, UK
Peter Beresford is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University, London, UK. He is a long term user of mental health services and Chair of Shaping Our Lives, the independent national user controlled organisation and network. Peter has a longstanding involvement in issues of participation and empowerment as researcher, writer, educator and activist.