I ended the last century in a psychiatric hospital, diagnosed with schizophrenia and with little hope for recovery.
Seen as a ‘revolving door patient’ with a severe and enduring mental illness, I lived my label – not my life. I bought into the idea that schizophrenia is a life long mental illness and that the best I could hope for was to manage my symptoms with life long neuroleptic medication.
Life, I’m glad to say, doesn’t always turn out the way you think.
Through a combination of luck, the kindness of others and my own, not inconsequential, stubborn streak, I have finally ditched the psychiatric labels and see myself as a survivor. I manage Mind in Camden’s London Hearing Voices Project (including Voice Collective and the London Prisons Hearing Voices Project), am an independent trainer, speak at conferences, am a trustee for National Hearing Voices Network, Vice Chair of ISPS UK and live a life that I truly love. I no longer take neuroleptic medication, and choose to live with alongside my experiences. If you’d have met me 15 years ago, this is a future that you would never have imagined for me.
About This Site
This site includes some of my thoughts and reflections on my ongoing journey, my experiences of working in the mental health field and some of the initiatives that inspire me. If you’re interested in training, consultancy or web design, this site also enables me to showcase a little of what I can offer in terms of services.
Working in the mental health field, and being lucky enough to meet some amazing people along the way, means that my brain cells are brimming with ideas and questions that I would be glad to use to open up a dailogue or debate. I’ve learnt that there is never one way of seeing the world, or making sense of extreme experiences.
Training & Consultancy
I am an experienced trainer with over 12 years of experience in the mental health field. If you’re looking for someone to speak at an event, run a workshop for your organisation or help you think about new ways of working – please see my ‘Services‘ section or email me to discuss your options.
My specialist areas include: psychosis, trauma, dissociation (including DID), self harm, distressing & unusual beliefs, recovery, resilience, mental health in prisons/forensic units and working creatively with young people who hear voices.
If you’d like to attend some of my training, see the Upcoming Training & Events section for details of where I’m at in the next few months.
Thanks for visiting Behind The Label. I’ll be updating it regularly, so do pop back when you get a minute.