About Me

Born in Perth, Scotland, I have a background in community education: children's and youth work, developing projects, adult learning, since 1980 and living in an ex-mining village, regeneration area, Lanarkshire. Prior to this I did a variety of family farm work, 1970's in Douglas, Lanarkshire, including lambing, milking cows, driving tractors, selling sheep at market. Concurrently I supported family members in and out of the psychiatric system, from 1970 in every decade until the present day, believing in mental health recovery. And survived psychoses and coercive drug treatment, in 1978, 1984 and 2002, having moved to Cupar, Fife area in 1990. 

More recently I have been a mental health writer, activist and human rights campaigner, whistleblowing about locked seclusion room abuses in Stratheden Hospital, NHS Fife, winning an Ombudsman complaint in September 2014 and a written apology from Fife Health Board who were awarded £4.4million after we exposed the human rights abuses.  We have gotten financially poorer.

Update 14 October 2018: last year was challenging for a number of reasons, one of them the PhD Clinical Psychology falling through at Edinburgh University due to the lack of support from academics.  I didn't think my Safe Houses for Psychosis action research was a priority for them, which I can understand, their main focus is on families, attachment theory, risk of relapse and the biomedical model of mental illness.  We weren't on the same page.  So I've given up that quest, can't manage it on my own. 

I've got back to swimming almost daily, mainly in the Olympia Dundee, so as to keep fit and keep muscle strains at bay due to right fibula metal plate, affecting left side mobility and balance.  With winter on the horizon cycling will be on the back pedal until March time.  Novice triathlon and wildwater swimming are goals for the future.  Not sure how they may be achieved logistically but I aim to practise as if they were possible.  Ever hopeful.

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 qualifications

- Postgraduate Certificate Teaching Qualification Further Education, care subjects Stirling University 2008 
- Postgraduate Diploma Community Education, Northern College 1998
- BA Administration Management, Fife College Kirkcaldy (best student) 1996
- HNC Office Administration, Elmwood College, Cupar, Fife (best student) 1995
- Highers in English & Maths, both A; Lanark Grammar School 1989 (returning adult)
- Highers in English, Maths, French, Botany/Chemistry, Geography; Sixth year studies in Algebra, Computer Programming, Calculus; Perth Academy 1970 

experience

- Blogger, writer, activist, campaigner in mental health matters and human rights
- Survivor of mental illness and the psychiatric system
- Advocacy - with individuals and groups - mental health, learning disabilities, managing volunteers
- Training and Lecturing - in community, college, WRAP, Peer Support
- Project Development and Management - events, fundraising, networking, volunteer recruitment, report writing
- Action Research - community development, mental health, adult learning
- IT and Internet - design, websites, blogging, social networking
- Children's and Youth Work - community, school, church
- Employability - work placements, jobs fairs, workshops, support into work

Setting up and leading Peer Support Fife


And most important of all: Mother of 3 sons, Grandmother of 3 (so far)

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Selection of pages from my CV for EMPOWER post, Glasgow University (didn't get an interview, didn't fit the criteria):













 

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