Authors: Cathy Kezelman, NSW
Event: 2012 TheMHS Conference
Subject: AUTONOMY, EMPOWERMENT,CITIZENSHIP,SOCIAL INCLUSION, Perinatal mental health
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This paper portrays a personal journey of recovery from childhood trauma and its mental health repercussions. It is a journey common to many - from facing stigma, judgment and social exclusion to empowerment, autonomy and a way forward. It examines the reactions of family, friends and professional colleagues to mental illness and the damaging effects of those reactions. It analyses these factors within the broader socio-political landscape, and uses the personal to reflect on the community and societal factors which foster taboo, ostracise and marginalise fellow human beings, who are experiencing mental distress. It also explores the challenges many mental health consumers experience in seeking to participate in the lives of their communities. The paper examines the reasons behind stigma, taboo and discrimination, explores how these elements add to the challenges of recovery and what we might do as consumers, consumer organisations and as community managed organisations to counter them.