'Recovery Heroes' Ch12 Rachel Perkins

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Information about 'Recovery Heroes' Ch12 Rachel Perkins
Health & Medicine

Published on September 21, 2014

Author: SUnarratives

Source: slideshare.net


Rachel discusses what it is like to be a mental patient, the social model of disability, her partner's support, and policy aspects of mental illness. This is a summary of Rachel's chapter in the compendium 'Mental Health Recovery Heroes Past and Present.'

Mental Health Recovery Heroes Past and Present (2011) Edited by Sophie Davies et al Ch 12 – Rachel Perkins Rachel is heralded as one of the ‘most dynamic’ clinical psychologists with a specialisation in employment. She says she has had 3 psychiatric careers beginning as a psychologist at Broadmoor., always being drawn to the most chronic of patients. She saw the casualties of the system, people who were written off. She began to question the paradigm of treatment and cure, as all most people wanted was a life, and questioned the inadequate framework that sought only to reduce dysfunction and deficits. This conviction was highlighted when she became a mental patient herself. In the early 1990’s she began to make sense of mental health care from the perspective as both patient and provider, and listened to Judi Chamberlain and Patricia Deegan. The recovery approach turned treatment and cure approaches on their head. Treatment is in the wings – it’s getting a life back that makes the difference. (***Me: asylum life is now no longer an option, you really have to get a life back.) Rachel then became a director and focussed on service users and meaningful employment. She puts it as: our best travelling companions are those who have walked a similar path. Rachel took on the social model of disability, and the language of empowerment is much more useful than the language of deficits and dysfunction, impairments. Liz Sayce, who is Rachel’s partner, puts it as we need to participate ON EQUAL TERMS in all aspects of life, and we should have control over our own destiny and support and treatment. This is a long path to making equal citizenship a reality. Rachel is now chair of Equality 2025 and aims to support the MH view in its broader disability rights context. She has learned a lot from her clients and from her own lived experience. She is struck by how

little professionals know about what it is like to live with a MH condition. She is working on the broader disability agenda within a rights, not needs, paradigm. Problems are not with individuals but with social barriers. She was not given a diagnosis until late in her life. But is manic depression a diagnosis for geniuses? She believes in the dignity of labour, and supports the formula: Somewhere to live, Something to do, and Someone to love. She is aware of opposition to her pathfinding in employment for service users, but that first pay cheque can be a tear-jerker. Sometimes you don’t hear for a while from Rachel, sometimes because she is unwell. However, many NHS employees owe their jobs to Rachel. Somewhere to live, something meaningful to do, and someone to love. ***Me: This is a postmodern view, a post-asylum view.

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