Authors: Marlene Janssen, WA
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: A MEANINGFUL LIFE,SELF CARE, SUSTAINABILITY, Listening to the story
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: How often does it happen to you that you see someone loitering along the shop-front footpaths, muttering to themselves under their breath, wearing dirty clothes and sporting an unkempt appearance? How often do we take a wide berth around such people? Because of the “restraints” on talking about Hearing Voices and other like experiences, consumers tend to hide these experiences from mental health professionals. As a result, they are neglecting to care for themselves in a holistic way and maintain good health. The ideas surrounding Voices are still in the dark, and most see them as negative and bad, making consumers “mad”, because they are experiencing something out of the ordinary. Traditional psychiatry would rather consumers take medications to suppress Voices, rather than working with them. The lack of self-care impacts on how mental health workers interpret consumer attitudes and the common perception is that those who look unkempt and don’t take care of themselves do not want to work on their recovery. What consumers need is encouragement, support and education in how to look after themselves. This paper will discuss the importance of self-care when hearing voices or other like experiences, and how mental health workers can support consumers in taking care of their basic human needs.