Art links

Outside In: an arts agency based within Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex, which provides a unique platform for artists whose work doesn’t fit conventional agendas recognised by the art world.

Dolly Sen: mad writer, artist , film maker, and subversive, known for amongst other things, screwing lightbulbs into the sky.

Writers / book links

John Clare (1793–1864) is arguably one of the most important pastoral poets in English literature, documenting the change in landscape in rural East Anglia with the implementation of the Enclosure Acts.

Hugh Lupton’s novel The Ballad of John Clare bears witness to the harshness of the times in which Clare lived. This fictional account of the early years in the poets life pays a testament to Clare’s memory, raised up during his lifetime as ‘The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet’, only to be castigated in later years as ‘Mad John’.

Joan Didion’s ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ recounts the author’s responses to the untimely death of her husband, John Dunne. Published by Knopf in October 2005, the book was acclaimed as a classic in the genre of mourning literature.

Dr Joanna Moncrief’s ‘The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment’ exposes the traditional view that psychiatric drugs target underlying diseases, or correct chemical imbalances, as a fraud.

Mental Health links:

Speak Out Against Psychiatry: campaign to end forced treatment, ECT, and the psychiatric drugging of children. SOAP support survivors of psychiatry to Speak Out with regular protests. They educate the public about what is happening in our psychiatric system and promote humane approaches to helping people in distress.

Dawn Willis: survivor with a blog dedicated to sharing the news and views of the mentally wealthy

The Critical Psychiatry Network: a group of psychiatrists who have developed consensus statements on topics such as the use of low dose neuroleptics and withdrawal from neuroleptics. Members also share a number of general concerns about current psychiatric treatment and diagnosis.

The ‘Szasz Site’ dedicated to the life and work of Thomas S. Szasz, M.D. – Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C., author and lecturer. He was author of The Myth of Mental Illness (1961)’, which challenged the idea of mental illness as a ‘brain disease.’

Rufus May: clinical psychologist whose interest in recovery from mental health difficulties is rooted in his own experiences of psychosis.

The Soteria Network promotes the development of drug-free and minimum medication therapeutic environments for people experiencing ‘psychosis’ or extreme states. They are part of an international movement of service users, survivors, activists, carers and professionals fighting for more humane, non-coercive mental health services.


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