Asylum Magazine (Volume 29, No2) Summer 2022

This Summer issue of Asylum contains several articles about the state of mental health services today.

You’ll see there is a good reason for our cover image (kindly provided by Steph Clark). Michelle Torez’ powerful testimony highlights the worrying lack of support available within the UK system; whilst C. Christine Fair reflects on the traumatising response she received – in the US – in the wake of an attempt to take her own life. Picking up on that issue, we summarise systemic failures in service responses to suicidal people in a UK context, highlighting the mis-use of the Mental Capacity Act and lack of awareness of autism. Katy Evans highlights, from a social model of disability perspective, the inaccessibility of therapy spaces, and Annie Phiri reflects on her experience as a trainee psychologist in light of Black Lives Matter.

As usual, contributors present a range of radical perspectives on how these failures should be responded to. Roisin S argues in favour of psychiatric abolition, in contrast to anti-psychiatry which, she argues, should be consigned to history. Inspired by the Socialist Patients’ Collective (SPK) manifesto of the 1970s, A.T. Kingsmith makes a call to weaponise anxiety. Wren summarises an important new report on alternative ways to support child abuse and sexual violence survivors, rejecting BPD diagnosis.

This issue also include a historical account of the Bristol Crisis Service for Women, and Dina Poursanidou reports on current mental health protests in Greece. We include articles on the film Medicating Normal and reviews of two new books: Sedated and Psychoanalysis under Occupation. We publish, as usual, a selection of other creative writing, poetry and illustrations.

We pay tribute to Pete Sanders, a long-time supporter of Asylum and came to our rescue when we re-launched the magazine in 2010. We also say a fond farewell to Peter Campbell – a gentle giant of the UK psychiatric survivors’ movement. Finally, ever wondered how to pleasure yourself when you’re sectioned in a mental hospital? David Parkin explores this conundrum…

To read the issue in full, subscribe to Asylum magazine – and please encourage others to do so too!


How my father was stolen from meMichelle Torez *** SAMPLE ARTICLE ***
Turning Anxiety into a WeaponA.T. Kingsmith ** SAMPLE ARTICLE ***
Disability and Therapy – Katy Evans
My Airplane Crashed into the Cuckoo’s Nest – C. Christine Fair 
How Mental Health Services are Failing Suicidal People – Wren Aves
Medicating Normal – Lynn Cunningham & Wendy Ratcliffe
New Ways: A Social Justice Call – Wren Aves
A Tribute to Pete Sanders
Anti-Psychiatry vs Psychiatric Abolition – Róisín S
Voices of the Bristol Crisis Service for Women – Rosie Wild
A Tribute to Peter Campbell **SAMPLE ARTICLE**
Activism to defend and transform Greek mental health services – Dina Poursanidou
Blackness, Psychology and Me – Annie Phiri
The Static – Jessica Oakwood
Poetry by Ripley Crow, Liam Kirk, Jonathan Moskaluk, Raven & Roberta Tasso
Book – Sedated Reviewed by Phil Virden
Book – Psychoanalysis Under Occupation Reviewed by Ian Parker
Wanking – David Parkin
Facial Recognition – Kimberley Rettig

Sample articles

How my father was stolen from me – Michelle Torez
Turning Anxiety into a Weapon – A.T. Kingsmith

A Tribute to Peter Campbell 

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