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A Fragile Revolution: Consumers and Psychiatric Survivors Confront the Power of the Mental Health System [Paperback]

Barbara Everett

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Book Description

June 16 2000

Despite two centuries and three major reform movements, mental patients have remained on the outside of the mainstream of society, often living in poverty and violence. Today we are undergoing yet another period of reform and, in a historical first, ex-mental patients, now calling themselves consumers and psychiatric survivors, have been recruited in record numbers by the Ontario government to participate in the change process.

A Fragile Revolution investigates the complex relationship between ex-mental patients, the government, the mental health system, and mental health professionals. It also explores how the recent changes in policy have affected that relationship, creating new tensions and new opportunities.

Using qualitative interviews with prominent consumer and survivor activists, Everett examines how consumers and survivors define themselves, how they define mental illness, and how their personal experience has been translated into political action.

While it is clear that consumers and survivors have affected the rhetoric of reform, they know that words do not equal action. As they struggle to develop their own separate advocacy agenda, they acknowledge that theirs is a fragile revolution, but one that is here to stay.


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About the Author

Barbara Everett has worked in both hospital and community mental health services in a variety of professional roles, from social work to senior manager. Her clinical focus has been the provision of psychotherapy for people suffering from complex posttraumatic stress disorder. She presently works as a consultant providing services such as clinical skills development workshops, clinical consultation and supervision, as well as program developmnet and evaluation.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended reading for advocates Feb. 9 2001
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
A Fragile Revolution: Consumers And Psychiatric Survivors Confront The Power Of The Mental Health System reveals the complex relationship between ex-mental patients, the government, the mental health system, and mental health professionals. Barbara Everett draws upon her experience with having worked in both hospital and community mental health services to explore how recent changes in policy have affected patient/provider relationships, crating new tensions and new opportunities. A Fragile Revolution is highly recommended reading for consumer advocates, health care policy makers, psychiatric service providers, psychiatric patients, and the general reading public with an interest in mental health care issues.

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