Jo Mortimer

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Five Mental Health Must-Reads

How to Survive the End of the World - Aaron Gillies (2018). You've got to laugh, else you'll cry, is not what this book is all about - despite the dark sense of humour. Anxiety sucks, but there's all manner of things that can be done to help manage it, and Aaron lends a hand with navigating the options. Togetherness is the key here. Everyone's experience is different, but you're never alone.


Lighter Than My Shadow - Katie Green (2013). Anorexia is on the rise, and it's a really tricky illness to combat. This 500-page hand-drawn memoir illustrates far more than the misunderstood idea of just wanting to be model-skinny. The content is intense at times - Green deals with OCD, PTSD and sexual assault - however, there aren't many publications about anorexia that suit young people and adults, so this is an important and useful book for all.

The Loony-Bin Trip - Kate Millett (1990). This is an account of Millett's battles to stay out of hospital and against a diagnosis of manic depression.  The renowned feminist and author attacks psychiatry, stating that 'Madness is manufactured when psychiatry intervenes.' An exceptional and vital book written by a woman who was not afraid to stand front and centre on the stage of her life.

A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise - Sandra Allen (2018). A memoir of Bob's life, edited by his niece. In 1960s America, Bob was packed off to a mental institution, and from then on the Hendrix-loving young man was known only as a paranoid schizophrenic. Here is his voice, interspersed with family, medical and historical notes to support a better understanding of his 'label'. This book has the potential to change the way people talk about schizophrenia for the better.

Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig (2015). Given the current mental health crisis amongst men, this book is an approachable response to a situation that needs urgently addressing. Haig is able to look back over his protracted experience of depression, a state he describes as an "intense flickering" inside his head. By sharing his personal recovery model and experiences, he encourages others to consider which aspects of their life may support them in times of difficulty.

Mental HealthJo Mortimer