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-The return to productive life, work, love and hope for the few, premature retirement for most.

Brenda LeFrançois.  Social Work, Laurentian University; Editor, Radical Psychology

Power Relations and User Involvement in Child Psychiatry

This paper is based on a study conducted at an adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit in the UK.  The study involved engaging in ethnographic research with the aims of exploring relations of power, children’s rights as well as patient perspectives of mental distress and psychiatric treatment.  The findings demonstrate that the exercise of power is pervasive, multi-directional and productive within inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  Moreover, despite showing a willingness and ability to be actively involved, the young people are faced with a paternalistic and authoritarian approach to treatment which is antithetical to the principles of user involvement and renders their direct and meaningful participation in their treatment and care, as well as service development, unlikely.  Overall, the findings suggest that treatment and care is dominated by social control and is experienced, for the most part, as distressing by the young people.

Chris Vogt.  Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

Why am I so Mad?

A nine year journey through the psychiatric system and complex discursive formulations saw this researcher go from paralyzed ‘patient’ to dissatisfied ‘consumer’ to a new phase of anger/ disbelief in coming to terms with his ‘survival’ of the psychiatrization process.  This paper combines auto-ethnography, to show the social processes and causes of one specific case of a mental health diagnosis, and an iterative process of research on the ‘psychiatric survivor movement’.  At once historical and current, this process fuses an awareness of past activism with current initiatives and orients the project itself as psychiatric survivor activism and identity politics in praxis.

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