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Extracts from previous editions of The Advocate

Who needs a new Mental Health Act anyway? Compulsion in the community already exists, by a service recipient

from The Advocate, September 2006

"I am a survivor of multiple admissions to psychiatric units.  More and more this is happening as a result of being caught in a particularly vicious spiral of mutual misunderstanding and lack of trust.

I am now subject to the attentions of the Home Treatment Team..."

On Taking Money from Drug Companies, by Peter Campbell

from The Advocate, October 2005

"I have always opposed groups and individuals taking money from drug companies. In many ways this is a gut feeling on my part and I find it quite difficult to rationalise. Twenty years ago, when I first became involved in action, I don't think this issue was discussed much. Among the people I worked with, it was a basic assumption that drug company money was out of bounds. It was almost an act of faith, like asserting psychiatry was a form of social control, which was an essential starting point for many of us. I am sure I am still influenced by the position we took up then. But things have changed and I certainly think it is a good development that the issue is now being discussed ..."

A True Story of Self Help and Empowerment, by Eamon Rooney

from The Advocate, July 2005

"Guess what? Rooney didn't croak himself, no. You know I had waited nearly two years to see that psychologist. I ended up so desperate that if someone had said stand on a rooftop naked in Leeds city centre with an Aubergine stuffed up my Khyber as a 'cure' for anxiety and depression I'd have done it..."

A Working Advocate's View of Independent Specialist Mental Health Advocacy, by © Cate Short

The Advocate, September 2004

"Later, waiting for nothing much of anything in the Day Room, Joe felt uneasy.  He liked Aristotle, but somehow he left him feeling a bit stupid.  He thought about Stan, the volunteer advocate.  Stan was a bit stupid too.  He had no answers, but together they had always found out what Joe had needed to know..."

Into the Deep End, by Pete Shaughnessy

The Advocate, February 2003

"That night I slept in the graveyard.  Some kids gave me some blankets and some Mars bars.  I slept in the gravedigger's hut.  Looking back, I felt rather comfortable.  Life was hectic, but I felt a freedom that I'd never had before.  Arguably, my last night of mental freedom ever was spent in a graveyard: symbolic..."