• A Straight-Talking Introduction to Being a Mental Health Service User

A Straight-Talking Introduction to Being a Mental Health Service User

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ISBN 978 1 906254 20 9 (2010)
Cover Price: £9.99
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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. A whistlestop tour covers topics such as mental health and inequality, the social model of disability, civil rights, recovery, compulsion, survivor led alternatives to psychaitric care and peer-support.

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

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.


Other books in this series
 •The Causes of Mental Health ProblemsJohn Read & Pete Sanders
 •Psychiatric DiagnosisRichard Bentall
 •Psychiatric DrugsJoanna Moncrieff
•Psychological Treatments for Mental Health ProblemsDavid Pilgrim 
 •Children's Mental Health ProblemsSami Timimi


Foreword  Jan Wallcraft


Part One                                                                  

Ch 1: Setting the scene                                                                

Ch 2: The psychiatric system                                                       

Ch 3: The language of ‘mental health’  

Part Two                 

Ch 4: The mental health service user/survivor movement

Ch  5: Mental health services and inequality                               

Ch 6: Issues of identity                                           

Chapter Seven: From a medical to a social model                    

Part Three

Ch 8: Developing a new vision: Principles for the future         

Ch 9: Developing a new vision: Survivor-led approaches to support                                                                             

Ch 10: Developing a new vision: Routes to achieving Change           

Part 4                                                     

Postscript: A broader view and next steps


The Straight Talking series works because all the authors are mental health experts who can really write. Peter Beresford's book provides a comprehensive yet digestible account of the main issues relating to the service user movement ... 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. Guy Holmes, Clinical Psychologist for South Staffordshire & Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust. Therapy Today June 2011.

... I was pleased to find it well written, mostly interesting and pleasantly thought provoking ... I think this book is an interesting overview both for experienced survivor activists, and also for professionals who should be curious about a survivor perspective. Terry Simpson, long term survivor activist.

Peter Beresford

Peter Beresford OBE is a long-term user of mental health servicse and Co-Chair of Shaping our Lives, the national independent service user-controlled organisation and network. He is also Professor Emeritus of Social Policy  at Brunel University London and Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and the University of East Anglia. He has a longstanding involvement in issues of participation and empowerment as writer, researcher, educator, service user and campaigner. He is author of A Straight Talking Guide To Being A Mental Health Service User published by PCCS books.

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Peter Beresford