I am the person of whom you speak.

I am the person of whom you speak.

One of the most difficult challenges I’ve had as a mental health consumer advocate is when people deny our lived experience. It drives me nuts. So-called recovered consumers. Last year I came across a person who used the term ‘so-called recovered consumers’. Worryingly, this person had influence in national mental health policy and she directly challenged the credibility and relevance of consumer advocates. She believed that no-one could really recover from ‘serious mental illness’, because that had been the experience of her family members. And so, her logic went, if people with ‘serious mental illness’ can’t really recover, then consumer advocates like me could never have been properly unwell to begin with. We can’t possibly represent the people who most need help. We have no relevance. Having to work with this person made me feel emotionally dizzy. Initially her words hurt me deeply. I cried. And then I got angry […]

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