At the heart of this issue is a special feature on Whittingham Lives, a two year arts and heritage project that honours the histories of those who lived at the Whittingham Asylum in Preston.
Asylum magazine strives to link the politics of mental health to broader progressive political struggles, social movements and campaigns. For example, Extinction Rebellion has been calling attention to the devastating impact of climate change. It has already had significant transformational impact, at least on public consciousness, not dissimilar to that of the #MeToo campaign in raising awareness of sexual violence.
ASYLUM calls itself the radical mental health magazine. Being radical, or critical, may seem like a relatively straightforward project, but it isn’t always easy to define, or straightforward to put into practice.
Asylum, formerly the magazine for democratic psychiatry, was established in 1986 as a forum for free debate, open to anyone with an interest in psychiatry and mental health politics, practice and policy. We were inspired by the democratic psychiatry movement in Italy and continue to be inﬂuenced by radical mental health movements around the world, including the psychiatric survivor and Mad liberation movements. Read more
This special Welfare Rights feature was inspired by discussions with people attempting to navigate the welfare system and has been developed by co-editor Ria Dylan and I. It presents a series of articles that reﬂect the despair, illness and worse that people have suﬀered as a result of the unprecedented governmental attack upon disabled people in the UK in the previous decade. Read more
We open this issue with an article by @validconsent which underlines the profound challenges involved in our notion of ‘democratic psychiatry’. We couldn’t have put these challenges better ourselves. How does one provide a safe space for challenging and diverse opinions to be expressed: at a conference; on a psychiatric ward; on social media; or in the pages of our magazine? Read more