Asylum Magazine (Volume 30 Number 1) – Spring 2023

Welcome to the Spring 2023 issue of Asylum magazine.

Asylum has often highlighted psychiatric abuse arising from dangerous treatments and interventions. Yet, increasingly, we are witnessing psychiatric neglect too – where stringent cuts result in inadequate care or no response at all. Such harm may be irreversible, as our cover image underlines: both harm to individuals and harm to the deeply held principles enshrined in our NHS, as Stuart Jordan argues in the first of our Sample articles.

Debates about psychiatry and especially medication can easily become divisive. Awais Aftab, in a call for openness and curiosity, proposes principles for an alternative and potentially liberatory approach (our second Sample article). Although he applies these principles to psychopharmacology, they potentially have wider relevance. Zoe Kristin’s testimony of the effects of receiving a BPD diagnosis (our third Sample article) finds echoes in Niamh Madden’s piece on the media’s coverage of BPD. A memorial piece to Clare Hand – with Mud’s powerful accompanying image and Dolly Sen’s Death Certificate for the NHS – bears witness to the tragic consequences of a lack of effective support at times of crisis.

Picking up on themes in our Winter issue, an anonymous service user recalls her experience of raising concerns about the Edenfield Centre, the subject of the Panorama investigation. Wren Aves cogently critiques the Online Safety Bill, from a harm minimisation perspective. This issue also includes an exploration by Emily O of why many of us are reluctant to embrace psychiatric abolition; Emily Burfoot’s account of her journey out of the mental health system and Laurence Howarth on the neoliberalism of IAPT. Turning our gaze beyond our own shores, Jane Tareen tells readers about the campaign for Justice for Morgan Geyser in the US, and we include the latest report from the Greek Activists’ group: the Initiative for a Diverse Movement in Mental Health.

We have two book reviews in this issue. Even Sedgwick-Jell reviews Health Communism which explores the contradictions of health under capitalism (we’ve included this as an extra sample article). In the second, Asylum’s poetry Editor, Janine Booth, reviews Holly Bar’s debut poetry collection, Dirty, which conveys the experience of child abuse in arresting ways. We also include a short review of the Reality Tourist website about living with Psychosis.

This issue sees the return of a News Section, as well as a selection of other poetry and artwork





Why we should support the recent NHS StrikesStuart Jordan ***SAMPLE ARTICLE***

They Died Waiting

What can happen when service users speak up – Anonymous

F*ck Your “Maladaptivity”, Self-Harm Has Saved My Life – Wren Aves

Poem – ‘Social Services?’

No, We Aren’t All Abusers and We Aren’t Your Kink – Niamh Madden

Too MuchZoë Kristin ***SAMPLE ARTICLE***

In loving memory of Clare Hand

NHS death certificate – Dolly Sen

Another Way is Possible – Emily O

Reality Tourists – review – Lauren Hosford

The Cocoon – Jessica Oakwood

Justice for Morgan – Jane Tareen

Poem – ‘I Am a Man that Suffers’

Mental? – Emily Burfoot

A Psychopharmacology Fit for Mad Liberation?Awais Aftab ***SAMPLE ARTICLE***

Poems – ‘Fucking Tanks’, ‘The Cost of Sanity’ & ‘Survivor’

The Neoliberalism of IAPT – Lawrence Howarth

Service Explanation Chart – MadDog,

Poems – ‘Measuring’’ & ‘Quasimodo Mask’

Book Review – Dirty – reviewed by Janine Booth

Book Review – Health Communism reviewed by Evan Sedgwick-Jell ***SAMPLE ARTICLE***

When police and psychiatric violence go hand in hand – Initiative for a Diverse Movement in Mental Health, Greece

Poem – ‘Shit!’


Asylum and the Struggle for Justice and Liberation



Download Volume 30 No 1



Sample articles