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Inspector Rosenhan Visits The Asylum

As part of the Mad World exhibition which examined missing voices from the story of psychiatry. The word ‘Madness’ is a rich word, and in its labyrinths are held important stories of humanity. It means a lot of different things to different people, and for me it has come to be a word which sometimes symbolises the best qualities in humans. Billy, a man who is part of ‘the old and the bold’ that keep our ambulance service running told me:

“A man needs a little madness or else he never dares cut the rope and be free.”

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‘Future Shock’: The Crisis of Relationships Between Body, Mind and Environment by Anne Fernie

Nervous exhaustion, melancholy, Weltschmerz, ennui, alienation, neurasthenia, Americanitis, stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, burnout ~ the labels & the socio-cultural context may change yet the symptoms remain the same. We are not referring to issues of faulty brain chemistry here such as clinical depression, mania or psychosis, yet these common & everyday emotions are increasingly being perceived as mental health issues. Should they be? Existential malaise manifests itself in a myriad of symptoms with crucially, no definitive cause ever identified.

A common historical (and current) explanation is that of the socio-cultural, likened to a virus attacking the body but this psychic virus‘inflames’ the psyche (Schaffner, 2014), no more so than during times of rapid social change (Kury, 2012). I do not intend to present a clinical analysis of the ‘condition’ but, whilst acknowledging a consistent trajectory in the occurrence of this individual ‘dis-ease’ with life, focus on the presumptions, treatments and explanations of the times to demonstrate to what extent perceptions of ‘illness’ are influenced by social prejudices and expectations. Read more

Helping With Mum: Barriers to Accessing Higher Education

I would like to send a message to staff, teachers and tutors – all young adult carers need help. Some staff need to respect the fact that when we leave college or school at the end of the day, we don’t go home and go out with friends, we go home and take care of someone until they are in bed. It’s a hard job but it’s the best job ever.” Leanne: Voices of young adult carers.

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, England and Wales starts its 2013 report ‘Access and Inclusion: Young Adult Carers and Education and Training‘ with the above quote. I thought I would share this presentation: Read more

Binaries, Young Carers and The Barriers to Accessing Higher Education

“I would like to send a message to staff, teachers and tutors – all young adult carers need help. Some staff need to respect the fact that when we leave college or school at the end of the day, we don’t go home and go out with friends, we go home and take care of someone until they are in bed. It’s a hard job but it’s the best job ever.” Leanne: Voices of young adult carers Read more

The Corporate Takeover of Education

We are living in an age where increasingly the lifeworld we inherently own and share are becoming colonized with the values of the marketplace.  In short, everything is being bought and sold from under our feet and out of our lives.  This is a distinct and troubling trend where the idea of economic growth is metastasizing into a financialism which consumes everything in its wake.

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