Reimagining Mental Health with Jill Anderson

This is a video record made of the Reimagining Mental Health event day organised by Critical and Creative Approaches to Mental Health Practice (CCrAMHP).  As a part of both participating in and recording of the event, this is a part of the Mad Studies work which I do which fosters critical perspectives in relation to psychiatry and the way mental health is culturally perceived.


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There can be a lack of choice about how mental distress is understood and responded to. In order to increase what is on offer, and/or make informed decisions about what is there, we all need opportunities to share experiences and learn about alternative social understandings of, and responses to mental distress.


That is why CCrAMHP (Critical and Creative Approaches to Mental Health Practice) was set up in Lancaster in 2011 – to widen the conversation about mental health. Since its inception, CCrAMHP has been active in seeking to promote creative and critical practice in mental health, through dialogue, mutual learning and creative activity. We have met over 100 times, with contributors coming from as far afield as the USA and Uganda. See


Membership is open to people with lived experience of mental distress (whether through using mental health services or supporting family or friends), mental health practitioners, students, educators, researchers and all interested others. Through reading and doing things together, viewing films and getting into conversation we make room for the sharing of experiences, ideas and practices.


The distress arising from the Coronavirus pandemic has reminded us all of the power of community and arts based responses – particularly in situations of unknowing and uncertainty. We know that so much more knowledge is held locally than we have been able to draw upon to date. We would like to broaden our networks and to get into conversation with others.


In conjunction with Asylum Magazine and the Madzine Research project at UCLAN, we are providing a day of activities and opportunities to share knowledge with individuals and community groups in Lancaster district. We aim to increase our collective confidence to help develop existing services and to intervene in new, creative and supportive ways.


Although this was an in-person event, we will be making the resources available online, as well as organising some online discussion and zine making as follow-up. We are looking for people to help to publicise and/or facilitate discussion and activity on the day. Please get in touch if you would like to help!


Film of the Event


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Playlist of Videos on the Day

During the event there was a cinema room where a show reel was played of a range of videos which spoke about different aspects of mental health, services and perceptions relating to these areas.  Below these videos are embedded and they can all be found free to view on Youtube.


Fish on a Hook – Dave U

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Creative resistance as activism: Jasmine Schlafke

Jasmine Schlafke is a spoken word artist dedicated to social change. She is the executive curator of the Legendary Santa Cruz Slam and teaches poetry to over 800 local youth annually. Jasmine is the 1999 recipient of the National Jefferson Award for outstanding volunteerism for her work with teen parents. As a diversity trainer Jasmine’s clients have included UCLA, Planned Parenthood, the Santa Cruz Police Department and Nativa Foods to name a few. She looks forward to sharing what keeps her activated through poetry.


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Short Thoughts #3: Becoming A Person – Rai Waddingham

This ‘short thought’ shares my experiences of being diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ and how I found my way back to feeling like a human being again


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Home – Storying Sheffield

This film was made as part of the Storying Sheffield project ( in collaboration with Museums Sheffield, and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (Creative Arts Steering Team).


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Tara Centre Girls Group May 2022 – Tara Centre

If you’re 16-18 years old, interested in being in a safe and confidential space where you can make friends, talk about what’s going on for you and learn practices that could help you in your everyday life then get in touch with us. We’re here for you. The Tara Centre is a community organisation dedicated to social justice and the transformative power of love and kindness. We’re passionate about opening up safe spaces for reflection and self-discovery and offer trauma-informed meditation classes, complementary therapy clinics for adults and children, and nature-based group work.


We also host an online community for those not able to join us in person. If you’re interested in finding opportunities for personal growth and recovery from emotional trauma, developing heartfelt friendships, or want to explore a deeper spiritual connection to yourself and your life then you’re in the right place. You are so welcome, just as you are.


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Opening Up A Space for Love During COVID – Tara Centre

In June 2020 we set up the Tara Time Collective in response to the level of need in our community – as a pop-up project of love and sanctuary. As restrictions didn’t allow us to open up our Centre, we gratefully took up the offer of access to the beautiful site that is Fork to Fork Forest Garden. We opened up a space for love, friendship and community and offered open access to any one that needed us. This is a short film of the impact it had for just a few folk who were happy to be filmed on one particular day.


The Tara Centre is a grassroots community organisation dedicated to promoting love, kindness and community. Our approach to trauma recovery is based on the knowing that we are relational beings who need each other in order to survive and thrive, and we host spaces for love to flourish in all kinds of beautiful and unexpected ways. We don’t have all the answers, but we know that every one needs some one to love them. And we’re here to love you.


If you’d like to join us online or in person at one of our events, or if you’d like to donate to our work in the community, please visit our website. And feel free to connect us with people or spaces we could be connecting with (including yourself).


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Help the Normals, in conversation with Dolly Sen. artist | Raw Minds Ambassadors

Dolly Sen’s artwork, Help the Normals, challenges preconceptions about mental difference. In this film, RawMinds Ambassador Jordan Minga chats to Dolly about her inspiration behind the piece, and her vision for the future. This film is part of a RawMinds installation which explores the themes behind the new permanent exhibition, Being Human.


  • The installation was co-produced with the RawMinds Ambassadors, filmmaker James Skerritt, and street artist Frankie Strand, and is on display in the Wellcome Collection from 25 September to 18 October 2019:
  • RawMinds Ambassadors are a panel of young people aged 14 to 19 who meet in their spare time at Wellcome Collection, to explore ideas about science and art:


Dolly Sen’s artwork is on display in Being Human, the new permanent exhibition at Wellcome Collection, which aims to explore trust, identity and health in a changing world:


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Inspired by his own encounters with psychiatric hospitals, which he experienced as punishing rather than loving environments, the vacuum cleaner hopes that ideas from this project can eventually influence mainstream mental health care, offering individuals ‘a safe place to go mad’. Part of the exhibition Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age, presented at FACT.


Visit to find out more.


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Trailer: “OPEN DIALOGUE,” alternative Finnish approach to healing psychosis

Trailer for “Open Dialogue,” a 74-minute documentary film on the Western Lapland Open Dialogue Project, the program presently getting the best results in the developed world for first-break psychosis — approximately 85% full recovery, a far majority off antipsychotic medication. Filmed in Finland. Directed by Daniel Mackler.


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Open Dialogue in action in Torbay

Open Dialogue is a new model of therapy for those with psychosis, which is being trialed across the country. Our team in Torbay have jumped at the chance to be involved in the trial, which works on the principle of “nothing about you without you”. This means that therapy is led by the person experiencing psychosis, and aims to include their ‘support network’, especially including family members and friends. In this video, the team talks about how this will ensure that people with psychosis are put at the heart of their care. This video was originally shown at 2018’s Our Journey staff events across Devon and Bristol.


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Mental Health crisis house for women – Drayton Park

Drayton Park provide12 women in mental health crisis a residential stay in a domestic setting, as an alternative to acute admission. This video case study explores how alternative methods and listening to local service users can provide a robust alternative to mental health services. Find out more about Drayton Park here:


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Lothlorien – the story of a Therapeutic community – Bryony Shanti Rogers

Synopsis – this film shares information about the Lothlorien Therapeutic Community in Southern Scotland.  It includes interviews with residents and staff and gives a rich sense of the life of the community and the values that inform it.  Camera, Editing and Director – Bryony Rogers


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Horatio Clare – Heavy Light | 5×15 – 5×15 Stories

Horatio Clare is a bestselling author, broadcaster and former BBC arts radio producer. In Heavy Light he recalls the onset of the mania that saw him sectioned, and describes how the healing process led him to investigate the front-line reality of the ‘mental health crisis’. Previous books by Horatio Clare include the memoirs Running for the Hills and Truant and the travel book A Single Swallow. 5×15 brings together five outstanding individuals to tell of their lives, passions and inspirations. There are only two rules – no scripts and only 15 minutes each.


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Beyond Closed Doors – Bryony Shanti Rogers

A 30 minute documentary exploring alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization. Made in 2002.


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Listening to Voice Hearers – Bob Sapey

Kate, Bob and Shaun talk about their experiences of hearing voices.


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