Born in Perth, Scotland, I have a background in community education: children's and youth work, developing projects, adult learning, since 1980 and living in an ex-mining village, regeneration area, Lanarkshire. Prior to this I did a variety of family farm work, 1970's in Douglas, Lanarkshire, including lambing, milking cows, driving tractors, selling sheep at market. Concurrently I supported family members in and out of the psychiatric system, from 1970 in every decade until the present day, believing in mental health recovery. And survived psychoses and coercive drug treatment, in 1978, 1984 and 2002, having moved to Cupar, Fife area in 1990.
More recently I have been a mental health writer, activist and human rights campaigner, whistleblowing about locked seclusion room abuses in Stratheden Hospital, NHS Fife, winning an Ombudsman complaint in September 2014 and a written apology from Fife Health Board.
I have many interests and these include writing, storytelling, swimming, walking, cycling, knitting, sewing, gardening, homemaking. I believe that psychosis is a natural reaction to a confusing world and would benefit from a shift in ways of working through the experience.
- Postgraduate Certificate Teaching Qualification Further Education, (care subjects) Stirling University 2008
- Postgraduate Diploma Community Education, Northern College 1998
- BA Administration Management, Fife College Kirkcaldy (best student) 1996
- HNC Office Administration, Elmwood College, Cupar, Fife (best student) 1995
- Highers in English & Maths, both A; Lanark Grammar School 1989 (returning adult)
- Highers in English, Maths, French, Botany/Chemistry, Geography; Sixth year studies in Algebra, Computer Programming, Calculus; Perth Academy 1970
- Blogger, writer, activist, campaigner in mental health matters and human rights
- Survivor of mental illness and the psychiatric system
- Advocacy - with individuals and groups - mental health, learning disabilities, managing volunteers
- Training and Lecturing - in community, college, WRAP, Peer Support
- Project Development and Management - events, fundraising, networking, volunteer recruitment, report writing
- Action Research - community development, mental health, adult learning
- IT and Internet - design, websites, blogging, social networking
- Children's and Youth Work - community, school, church
- Employability - work placements, jobs fairs, workshops, support into work
Biography page on my blog
my presentation at the Scottish Crisis & Acute Care Network Conference in Stirling on 29 October 2013
Setting up and leading Peer Support Fife
Reference from Dr Peter Gordon for my PhD Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh which did not transpire:
Reference from Professor Andrew Gumley: