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Mad Old Vic - Issue 1

Mad Old Vic - Issue 1

Mad Old Vic is the first of a series of “Zine’s” from MHRN that will be produced in both paper and online formats. You can download it as a complete pdf file here. This first issue has been produced for the CareTaking in the Community mental health debate at the Old Vic Theatre this evening (3rd May 2016). MHRN and allied activists will be handing out paper copies and attending the debate.

Idiotorial: “On the face of it, the UK Psychiatric Survivor movement is small, fractured and struggling. But this nasty government has awoken us from our slumber and we are rapidly skill-sharing, providing support that is available nowhere else and together our voices are becoming stronger as we articulate our collective love and rage.

When we first saw an advert for this debate, the panel consisted of a Sir, a CBE and a Shadow Health Minister infamous for her previous directorship of Labour Friends of Israel. In our view, all the original panellists were wedded to, and endowed by privilege. We twitted about it, and along came the amazing Alice, who scuppered our plans to storm the stage. Then the Old Vic invited one of our recognised voices onto the panel and us off the streets and into the auditorium.

So the debate you heard tonight already has us all over it. There are other marginal voices who were excluded – they include the Mental Health Nurses who are engaged in their own debate – a fragment of which appears in the insightful letter by Jonathon Gadsby included in the pieces hereafter. The psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists who daily see the pain that mental health in this society suffers were also excluded and the lovely Jay Watts’ cartoon is a nod to them.

But we are also relatively privileged, and we look forward to hearing from voices that are even more marginal than ours, and whose critiques of the systemic failings are even better-rounded. If you can’t wait to hear such a voice, put “depression is political” and “Bobby London” into your search engine to find a voice that we heard whilst preparing this impromptu and rugged premiere edition of Mad Old Vic.

There will be another version for those who struggled to add their voices to the call out – but did loads of work thinking. Don’t lose the insights you gained tonight please – join us as allies, like some therapists and nurses and social workers have done, or in your own right as a service user, and let’s start the transformation of this system into something that works for us and is fuelled by love and rage…”

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