THIRTY years ago, I was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia. My prognosis was “grave”: I would never live independently, hold a job, find a loving partner, get married. My home would be a board-and-care facility, my days spent watching TV in a day room with other people debilitated by mental illness. I would work at menial jobs when my symptoms were quiet. Following my last psychiatric hospitalization at the age of 28, I was encouraged by a doctor to work as a cashier making change. If I could handle that, I was told, we would reassess my ability to hold a more demanding position, perhaps even something full-time.
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Having spent 13 years in and out of the psychiatric system, Ron’s own route to recovery has given him many insights into the difficult issues facing today’s mental health services.
Ron Coleman was been active in the field of mental health since 1991. When undergoing his ow recovery from mental illness, Ron used his experiences to develop his ideas for recovery-centred treatment of others. Since then, he has gone on to write numerous books and papers on the subject, he was influential in the development of the Hearing Voices Network in the UK and was the first national co-ordinator.
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