By James Gerard McGinley
and John Sawkins
Key Themes: Mental Health, Hope, Recovery, Empowerment
"Mental ill health has finally come out of the cauldron of madness and can now be seen for what it really is; a perfectly normal part of life."
James Gerard McGinley - BA Journalism
Hope Street is a new book that focuses on lived experiences, coping mechanisms, endurance, hope and recovery in the world of mental ill health.
Hope Street takes readers on an inspiring global journey, giving an insight into different mental health environments.
The book focuses on five individuals who have experienced mental ill health and are now in recovery. Most hold down full time jobs, are engaged in meaningful activities and are stronger as a result of their experiences.
More and more people around the world are coming to live on Hope Street; hence taking the first steps towards recovery. The stories, contacts, and research in this book have shown that recovery is now possible.
The writers involved in this book have bravely come forward to inspire others. Their message is simple: “There is always Hope.”
“Had he been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment might well have concluded that we were finished,” wrote Anthony Storr about Winston Churchill's bipolar disorder in Churchill's Black Dog.
Mental ill health, however, is not solely the property of the mentally ill. Just as the flu affects us all in different ways, and for varied periods of time, so does poor mental health.
There are too many variables to successfully diagnose and cure mental health problems in everyone overnight.
Hope Street focuses on lived experiences, coping mechanisms, endurance, hope and recovery.
In the past, recovery for most was only a dream. Today it has become a reality.
Health takes into account five parts; mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. Equal consideration should be given to each part in order to maintain a healthy way of life.
Academic establishments tend to focus on a person’s intellectual abilities and ignore a person’s emotional abilities. As a result society does not have the tools to deal with problems such as teenage angst, bereavement, depression, anger, hate and a host of other emotionally- charged issues.
The good news is emotional intelligence can be taught.
With the appropriate training, support and help, most of us can learn how to cope. My advice would be to take some time out to become aware of your own stressors, triggers and needs.
Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. ~ Danzae Pace
There are many paths to wellness when you are ill. Many search in vain for ‘instant cures’ when the answers already exist inside one’s own being. As Bob Marley put it in Redemption Song: “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”
The recovery process is a personal journey that must be tailored to each individual’s needs.
Hope Street focuses on five individuals who have had mental health setbacks and are now getting on with their lives. Most hold down full time jobs or meaningful activities and are stronger as a result of their experiences.
I use the mantra of ‘pebbles in the dark’ when I’m ill, breaking big tasks into smaller pieces, and giving myself more time to complete things. Sometimes you can achieve more by doing less, like the ripple effects of a pebble thrown into a pond.
The catalyst for change for me was the work of Dr. Viktor Frankl;
Adapted from Wikipedia;
Logotherapy was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl. It is considered the "third Viennese school of psychotherapy" after Freud's psychoanalysis and Adler's individual psychology. It is a type of existentialist analysis that focuses on a “will to meaning” as opposed to Adler's Nietzschian doctrine of "will to power" or Freud's “will to pleasure”.
The following list of tenets represents Frankl’s basic principles of Logotherapy:
• Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
• Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
• We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.
His book ‘Man's Search for Meaning’ (first published in 1946) chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. He was one of the key figures in existential therapy and was to become my first pebble, guiding me out of the dark.
James Gerard McGinley - BA Journalism
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 26 January, 2012.