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Surviving the psychiatric system and how writing saved my mind


7 December 2019 14:00 - 15:00


Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Kent BR3 3BX

Richard D France has experienced psychiatric hospitals for over 22 years, staying in mainstream wards, specialist deaf psychiatric units and a psychiatric prison in Spain. Throughout this difficult time, Richard could not help but articulate his mind through writing.

He felt this was his release from the dark thoughts that plagued his depression over a long period of time. It was when he stayed at the Bluebell Ward at the National Deaf Centre, Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, London, that he published his narrative thoughts into print. This resulted in the first book, "The Book of the Failed Jumper" which he states is a narrative series written in poetry style. Richard will share his thoughts about his experiences over time in psychiatric units and how writing helped him to salvage his sanity.

There will be readings from this book during his presentation. Richard has gone on to write three further books; 'The Rise After The Fall', 'A Tale of these Contemptible Suicides' and 'Sign-in With Death'.

He now works advocating better communications between service users and the nursing teams.