Is There No Place For Me?: Making Sense Of Madness: PenguinSpecial

Is There No Place For Me?: Making Sense Of Madness: PenguinSpecial

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Almost half the Australian population will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime yet it is still difficult to find the right treatment and stay well. Kate Richards is well positioned to ask the hard questions about our mental health system. She experienced episodes of depression and psychosis well into her adult life and is a trained doctor.

Kate argues for empowering patients and their families to be active members of treatment teams. She challenges the common belief that patients are responsible - even somehow to blame - for the existence of their illnesses and makes a plea for mental health professionals to reach out across the patient-therapist divide and find a human connection. When mental health patients are heard, respected and understood, sustained healing can begin.

Kate's experiences are detailed in the critically acclaimed Madness- A Memoir, winner of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2014 nonfiction prize. She is now a full-time writer, working part-time in medical research, and has learnt how to live a happy and productive life with a chronic mental illness.

'With swift, bold brushstrokes she plunges us into (these) fractured worlds ... These powerful vignettes show those suffering mental illness as ordinary people rather than as statistics or ''patients''.' The Saturday Age
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Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 114 x 181 x 6mm | 66g
  • Penguin Books Australia
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • 0143571877
  • 9780143571872
  • 797,531

About Kate Richards

Kate Richards is a writer of fiction, narrative nonfiction and poetry. She has a medical degree with honours and works part-time in medical research in Melbourne. Kate is the author of the critically acclaimed Madness- a memoir and the Penguin Special Is there no place for me?
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Rating details

58 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 36% (21)
4 38% (22)
3 21% (12)
2 3% (2)
1 2% (1)

Our customer reviews

Book Review: Is there no place for me? (Making Sense of Madness) by Kate Richards This is a small penguin paperback book of a modest 71 pages, which acts as a guide fir people suffering depression (and therefore being potential suicide cases) in order to get assistance from Australian government bodies etc. The author puts forward an argument for empowering patients and their families to be active members of treatment teams. Australia has the highest suicide rate per capita in the world, but the reasons for this don�¢??t seem to have been disclosed or at least clearly and/or totally in this book. Richards states that men accounted for 76.9% of deaths from suicide in Australia and that an estimated 72% of males with a potentially diagnosable condition do not seek assistance for mental disease. But as Richards writes, suicide has nothing to do with personal weakness, cowardice or bravery. Richards attempts to show that when mental patients are heard, respected and understood, sustained healing can begin, therefore it is necessary for health professionals to reach out across the patient-therapist interface to find a human connection. In my opinion, all of this advice should be common sense, but it isn�¢??t! But a Richards states, the Australian mental health system is only just beginning to widely accept the treatment principle of �¢??Nothing about me without me�¢??. There are more alarming statistics cited here, over 100,000 people are homeless and every night sleep in dodgy hostels, spats, cars, caravans, refuges and any sheltered places on streets and laneways. Over half of these suffer a mental illness and relatively few people care. Serious mental illness if often first diagnosed in early adulthood. Instead of the opportunity for first jobs, apprenticeships or further education, ,any people with serious mental illness spend their early twenties grappling with hospital admissions, medication and repeat losses of friends, family and sexual relationships, of self-worth and the ability to establish financial independence. 42% of the people living on disability support pensions in Australia are currently living below the poverty line. Its no wonder that people want to commit suicide in this country!. Surely the respective state and local Governments have to take share of the blame for this alarming situation. For instance, in Australia, the limited available mental health units are under tremendous pressure to treat people quickly and to get them back out into the community because there are so few acute-care beds available. More alarming statistics behold the reader towards the end of the book. It is stated that the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing during 2009 found that 45% of all Australians will experience an episode of mental illness during their lifetimes. In addition, it is stated that six Australians die of suicide per day and at least 30 others per day attempt to take their own lives! What an indictment on Australia supposedly the greatest country in the world according to many blinkered people in this country! The situation regarding mental health in Australia is horrific to say the least. It really beggars belief! At the back of the book there are listings of where one can go to get assistance including mental health associations and crisis support. Therefore the book is important and should be extremely useful to those in a suicide situation, either personally or within family and friends. Dr Trevor J. Hawkeswood Author: Beetles of Australia (1987), Spiders of Australia (2003), Light and Dark (2013).show more
by Trevor Hawkeswood
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