Reflections on power, knowledge and change

Mary O’Hagan, Peter Beresford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mary O’Hagan reflects on 35 years of psychiatric survivor and lived experience advocacy to transform mental health services and society so that people with mental distress are treated as equals and free of discrimination. She is not satisfied with progress and asserts that we cannot make big change until psychiatry moves away from the hub of the system and becomes one of the spokes – where it no longer dominates the discourse and takes most of the resources. She discusses the parallels and tensions between the ‘mad’ movement and the indigenous Maori quest for self-determination as well as the challenges in getting Mad Studies established as a full discipline. Mary has seen the loss of momentum in the independent ‘mad’ movement over the years as advocates find jobs in the mental health system. There is still hope for big change, but it may take several generations of advocacy to get there.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Mad Studies
PublisherRoutledge Harwood
ISBN (Electronic)9780429465444
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2021

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