I have found informed support, friendship and humanity in ISPS since my first meeting at a time when mainstream mental health services were uncommunicative, both suspicious and dismissive of me – all reactions quite shocking at a time of extreme distress.
The contrast with the empathy of ISPS could not have been sharper. ISPS, its committee and its general membership, has been a lifeline at the most difficult times since, when otherwise, I felt completely isolated.
I am passionate about challenging and changing mainstream psychiatry; it needs to show understanding and to commit to listening to and working collaboratively with service users, their peer groups and families to restore a valued life of genuine quality to everyone traumatised into and by mental health distress and practices. This will be best achieved by implementing the proven enlightened approaches, policies and research undertaken by ISPS and similarly more humane organisations.
The commitment of those who have come through personal mental health crises and now travel extensively helping others through their difficulties and those who have subsequently become professionally qualified as psychologists joining the challenge to the mainstream orthodoxy is also inspiring.