29 August, 2013

Ruminations on Madness - Free and open event


Ruminations on Madness

This season will be introduced by people whose work and life experiences have afforded them insights into the problems encountered in the psychiatric system. The talks that precede the films will seek to challenge prevailing assumptions about mental health and those who use psychiatric services.
All three films present a troubling picture of a system we have come to rely heavily upon. Set in different countries and eras the films explore the universality of human suffering and a system that has come to reduce that experience rather simplistically.  The films show a disturbing side of the mental health system and its many abuses that result in reducing and controlling  human behaviour.

Films screened in MMU New Business School G.36 – Lecture Theatre 3
Time – 6.00 pm

Discussion after film at Sandbar (Sandbar
120 Grosvenor Street,
 Manchester,
M1 7HL )
11th November 2013 

Park Avenue
(dir. Aparna Sen, 2005)
National Film Award winning English language Indian art house film. The film explores the impact of schizophrenia on a young woman and her family in Calcutta. The narrative revolves around the relationship of two sisters, a successful professor who is also carer for her sister whose progression into schizophrenia has been speeded up by traumatic life events. Recurring themes include issues facing Indian families when it to comes mental health and the reality of a mental health service user. The film has a cast of award winning actors.

Introduced by Pauline Sometimes and Sonia Soans.

18th November 2013

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
(dir. MiloŇ° Forman, 1975)

Based on Ken Kessey’s novel of the same name the film looks at the life of a man who enters a psychiatric institution with the idea to escape jail. The film raises some disturbing issues about the nature of mental illness and its subsequent treatment in an environment that cannot provide an alternate understanding of human behaviour.

Introduced by Konstantina Poursanidou.

25th November 2013

Family Life
(dir. Ken Loach, 1971)

British drama film which won 5 awards. A remake of The Wednesday Play "In Two Minds", written by David Mercer and directed by Loach, which was transmitted by the BBC in March 1967. The film traces the life of a working class girl (Janice) who leads a dull life, her parents consider her  to be misbehaved. When she is unable to cope with the emotional and mental effect of upsetting her parents after an abortion. Janice is subjected to shockingly self-righteous and ignorant doctors.

Introduced by – Helen Spandler.

Issues of Asylum magazine for democratic psychiatry will be available for sale at the event. 


17 April, 2013

St Dymphna Seminar 2013, Manchester



The St Dymphna Seminars was created in 2012 to provide a safe and open environment for those with an interest in mental health to  discuss issues relating to practice and experience. Inspired by the models of community care in traditions established at Gheel, the seminars aim to educate and reveal aspects of living with mental illness and perspectives on predominant models and treatments that are rarely shared. It is hoped that these seminars will also provide an arena for conflicting stances to witness the reality behind the ideology.

Here is t link to the website. 

http://theswordandfettereddevil.wordpress.com/about/

12 March, 2013

Feminist meeting- The Discrimination and Abuse of Trans* Women

The Discrimination and Abuse of Trans* Women

"In spite of a more understanding & diverse world, often supported by robust equality legislation, Trans Women are still too often marginalised, discriminated against, excluded from services and from female spaces, at a much greater incidence than the general female population. They are too often denied services, excluded, abused, violently attacked and even murdered. ( At least one a day around the world) Our discussion today will introduce the basics of Trans Awareness, the incidents and causes of discrimination, the abuse & violence this community regularly suffers and the consequent devastating effect on individuals.

We will also discuss how this unacceptable behaviour can be changed and suggest some actions for improving the acceptance and respect for all Trans* women. Although we are focusing on Women today, Trans Men, particularly at the start of their transition suffer equally from abuse, attack and murder."

06 March, 2013

Rachel Mann- Dazzling Darkness


To follow up from the previous post on the Dazzling Darkness event. Interesting discussion about finding meaning and G-d in darkness and a journey through self exploration and choosing between two rights and sometimes two wrongs. Rachel talks about her options and her all too human struggles which make her work universal.


Here is an audio recording of the event today. Rachel read out excepts from her book and a few of her poems.

click here to hear the recording

A big thank you to Reverend Rachel Mann for sharing her work with us and to all those who attended the event and participated.


Rachel Mann is a Church of England priest and is Resident Poet at Manchester Cathedral. Her work – on rock music, poetry and theology – has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and newsprint. 

Here is a link to her  website





17 February, 2013

Rachel Mann- Dazzling Darkness



Dazzling Darkness  is a true story about searching for one's authentic self in the company of the Living God. Rachel Mann has died many 'deaths' in the process, not the least of which was a change of sex, as well as coming to terms with chronic illness and disability.
Through these experiences she has discovered that darkness is as much a positive place as a negative one, inhabited by the Living God – the Dark God, the Hidden God. This is the God many of us, because we try to make our lives safe and comfortable, are too afraid to meet. This is the God who is most alive in those things we commonly associate with the Dark – failure, loss and brokenness.
The Christian church has legitimated certain ways of talking about God – male, fatherly, monarchical and so on. Many believe these descriptors tell the exhaustive truth about God. In accepting the complexity of her sexuality and identity, Rachel Mann has been able to explore with a greater freedom what God might look like to an 'unconventional creature' like her.

Rachel Mann is a Church of England priest and is Resident Poet at Manchester Cathedral. Her work – on rock music, poetry and theology – has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and newsprint

21 January, 2013

Soteria Manchester (meeting)


We are meeting again to discuss setting up the Soteria house in Manchester. 

We are meeting on 28th January 2013 at Falafel 26 Wilmslow Road, M14 5TQ Manchester  http://goo.gl/maps/LJXNf at 6.00 pm. Do come along and invite your friends too. 


We will be discussing ideas about funding, approaching groups and about housing.  If you can't make it do send us your ideas and how we can work towards setting up a Soteria house. If you have articles that support the Sotieria model of treatment do send them in too. 

07 January, 2013

Beyond Belief - Tamasin Knight

Found this on Rufus May's website I had to share it .   "Beyond Belief is now available as a free download. Its a guide written by Tamasin Knight to self help strategies used by people with unusual and compelling beliefs. Very useful stuff" Rufus May 

Rufus May's website has a free copy of the book. Here is the link to Dr May's website - http://rufusmay.com/

A direct link to the book Tamasin Knight Beyond Belief – Alternative Ways of Working with Delusions, Obsessions and Unusual Experiences