Asylum Magazine (Volume 23 No 1) Spring 2016

It is 30 years since the first issue of the magazine. For one reason and another there have been a few stops and starts along the way, which is why we are only now up to Volume 23. All the same, most of those years we provided an outlet for views and ideas which were never going to get much of an airing – if any – in academic and conventional channels.

We are proud of our egalitarian standpoint: we always believed that patients – service users or survivors – have as much right as anyone to participate and speak their minds;we always believed that it is a barren and fundamentally unhelpful mental health expertise that excludes the voices of those who by personal experience know all about appalling emotional distress and mental turmoil.

Unlike the previous four issues, which were themed on mental health and comics, most of this issue is different kinds of items sent in by readers. However, the centre pages are given over to a number of news stories about recent research findings on the mental health effects of the austerity measures imposed on the poorer half of the nation since the 2008 banking crisis.

This does not make happy reading, but we think you may be interested.The summer issue is planned as a collection of perceptions from people active in the field. If you would like to contribute material, contact us.

We would like people to address any or all of the themes: significant developments in the last 30 years (positive or negative); hopes or fears for the future; how to encourage the introduction of more democratic, more humane and more effective mental health care. Here’s to the next 30 years. May the powers that be finally wise up!

Phil Virden, Executive Editor


Download Volume 23 No 1



  • Introduction
  • Stop the Abuse of Mental Health Patients Red Fox
  • The Beast Ann Kelly
  • ‘I Think You Were Just Incredibly Lonely’ Julie
  • Give Me Your Love A play by Ridiculusmus
  • Sheila Pete Coward
  • Stories That Do the Work of Forgetting and Hiding Jonathan Gadsby
  • Poem: Sunny Sparkling Otters David Trippas
  • Shell-Shock, Lunacy and Hysteria
  • Greta Williams Schultz
  • News and Findings
  • Should Mental Health Patients Be Forced to Take Medication? Sanchita Islam
  • Waving, Not Drowning? ‘Don’t Forget What Happens When You Skip Your Meds’ Helen Spandler
  • Poems: Day Tripper Enlightened and Beneath the Veil Debra June Williby-Walker
  • Countering Mad Politics with Mad Studies Peter Beresford
  • Challenge, Compromise or Avoid? Lucy Johnstone Letter to the editor Aidan McCrory
  • Clinical Psychology: a critical examination Reviewed by William Park